Tomorrow’s Threats

Experts agree that the number and intensity of threats to society is increasing globally. Here are just a few of the 500+ threats we are tracking for clients. Contact us today to gain access to all 500, know how others are mitigating them and better protect your organization against future shocks.

What is changing?

Security

  • Awareness and concern about security incidents and threats has become top of mind among consumers.
  • Consumers are now having to deal with threats that they can’t protect themselves against.
  • Businesses have a hard time telling employees they need to leave their smartphones or tablets at home, and even the most tech savvy of workers won’t consider the potential security threats of using their personal Dropbox account at work.
  • Too many business leaders today are assuming that wearable technology is too new–and that it doesn’t pose a serious threat now.
  • A recent survey of executives by Cisco and IMD, the Swiss business school, found 43% either do not acknowledge the risk of digital disruption or have failed to address it.
  • Economic warfare against the United States and its allies is a growing threat.
  • Russia and Ukraine consider economic instability a major threat.
  • Religiously inspired terrorism will continue to be largely driven by sustained geo-political developments and changes in the Middle East, the Sahel region and the Horn of Africa.
  • Cyber extortion is a growing threat in the United States.
  • Economic prosperity and light-speed growth in mobile banking in some countries have bypassed regional and local financial organizations’ ability to manage threats.
  • Most countries are ill prepared for the potential threats to their security and economy.
  • Turkey sees the Kurds as the biggest threat.
  • Global warming poses a present security threat.
  • Mullah Omar’s death announcement will likely spark a fresh exodus of disaffected Taliban fighters to the Islamic State’s side.
  • All GCC states especially Saudi Arabia care very much about Yemen’s unity and stability because chaos and violence in their neighbor pose direct threats to their interests.
  • Cyber threats to U.S. national and economic security are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication, and severity of impact.
  • Russia’s vast nuclear arsenal puts it in a special category as a threat to the United States.
  • ISIL poses a direct threat to countries around the world.
  • Greater levels of automation mean the aviation industry is more vulnerable to cyber threats.
  • Other threats to planes from a drone collision could be damage to critical flight equipment.
  • Terrorists or agents of hostile powers could mount attacks on companies and systems that control vital parts of an economy.

Environment

  • Long before the seas have risen a further three or four feet, there will be irreversible breakdowns in society.
  • Each of the Pentagon’s seven combatant commands is incorporating climate change risks into their planning.
  • Shallower high-volume hydraulic fracturing poses a greater potential threat to underground water sources because there is so little separation between the chemicals pumped underground and the drinking water above them.
  • Larger scale infrastructure development poses a significant threat to sensitive ecosystems if not planned with social, economic and environmental sustainability in mind.
  • Climate change poses an ever-growing threat to the well-being, public health, natural resources (particularly water), economy, and the environment.
  • Hunting and fishing (“exploitation”) and habitat degradation are still the biggest threats to wildlife by far. Global warming has been a much smaller threat to most species over the past 40 years.
  • Plant diseases pose a major threat to global food security.
  • The severe and ongoing depletion of underground water supplies in India poses a growing threat to the nation’s food security.

Health

  • Sickle cell disease poses a serious health threat in tropical Africa and has been declared a public health priority by the World Health Organisation.
  • People becoming more health conscious in their food choices are definitely the biggest threat that makes the “Golden Arches” tremble on their base.
  • Global declines in animal pollinators could lead to up to 1.4 million excess deaths annually (an increase in global mortality of 2.7%) from a combination of increased vitamin A and folate deficiency and increased incidence of non-communicable diseases like heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
  • Of particular concern is the mounting prevalence of infections caused by Klebsiella pneumonia which has been identified as an urgent threat to human health by the UK government and the World Health Organisation due to extremely drug resistant strains.
  • Human medicine creates the most direct threat of bacteria evolving antibiotic resistance.
  • Many believe the world isn’t prepared for another global epidemic like Ebola and strongly support investments in developing countries to curb future threats.
  • A company or hospital’s own employees are some of the biggest security threats.
Implications

Cyber
The use of powerful, real-time analytics across multiple data sets will vastly improve the quality and speed of real-time cyber threat analysis while greatly reducing overall cost.

  • Powerful encryption technologies and other security protection, both software and hardware will increase in importance.
  • Organizations can start using “situational awareness” to see the big picture of how their IT assets are working and how well they stack up to existing threats.
  • Cyber threats will be more rapidly addressed if cyber insurance grows more rapidly.
  • Between $9 and $21 trillion of global economic value creation could be at risk if companies and governments are unable to successfully combat cyber threats.

Military

  • Russia is the biggest threat to US national security and America must boost its military presence throughout Europe even as NATO allies face budget challenges and scale back spending.

Politics

  • Countries will gather in Paris to finalize a new global agreement to tackle climate change in December of this year.
  • Governments around the world will be working to highlight their energy-efficiency policies and sharing information on how to lower oil intensity for the global economy.

Learn more

What future issues could arise for your organization from these threats?  Visit to develop your answer and response.

Find the sources and more resources on Shaping Tomorrow  ‘Tomorrow’s threats‘ some of which were used in this Trend Alert, or ask us for our ready-made and free, in-depth PowerPoint report or more detailed GIST briefing on this or any other topic of interest to you.

Also, click here to find out how Shaping Tomorrow can help your organization rapidly assess and respond to these and other key issues affecting your business.

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