One thing that's a fact, is that disasters are coming more frequently than before and are proving to be more costly, if not in lives lost, certainly in their economic impact. I think it's fair to say that most First World countries are prepared to deal with a major disaster ... No one has perfect plans but we'd cope with a strong earthquake (still the biggest killer), industrial accident or severe weather outbreaks.
We have all heard the old adage about one ounce of prevention being better than a pound of cure. Well, it's still true. However, in times of tight fiscal conditions, preparedness often seems to be among the first budget cut targets. This certainly seems shortsighted when more and more of the so-called "low probability" events actually happen.
And, it seems, the risks are pretty well known. The luminaries currently meeting in Davos, Switzerland, have a pretty good handle on identifying the risks. Will action follow?
I've mentioned above that we're moderately ready to respond to a major disaster. But what about multiple disasters? Or, one that cripples our critical infrastructure?
This brings me to my own "worst case scenario" ... a general failure of the network of networks that all of us take for granted and allows for the light to come on when we flip a switch, for our water to pour out when we go to the tap, and, our Internet to be available when we turn our our laptops.
But what if? ... Cyber threats are terrifying in their potential calamity.2012 is already forecast to be a "breakout year" for cyber attacks and threats. We have seen reports in the last few months, of actual attacks or perceived security gaps in critical infrastructure: