The spreading of false information is the greatest risk facing the world over the next two years, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024.
Disinformation has come to the fore because of the increased ability of AI to proliferate and disseminate it, together with the high number of elections taking place in 2024.
While this is first and foremost a threat to governments and the institutions that support civil society, there is also a significant risk that companies themselves could fall foul of disinformation attacks, says Paul O’Rourke, BCG’s managing director and partner who leads the Cybersecurity and Digital Risk Practice.
In addition to possible political unrest, the dangers to brands include:
“There is a perfect storm of ingredients that has exacerbated the speed and exchange of information, while also making it more difficult to discern what is legitimate,” explains O’Rourke.
“Companies risk losing the confidence of customers, business partners or investors if they fall victim to an attack. There are also serious financial consequences if they have relied on erroneous information to make significant decisions.”
Companies can work alongside governments, regulators and leaders from all sections of society to seek solutions and rebuild trust. According to O’Rourke, companies should:
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