New report from the World Economic Forum highlights cyber-attacks as number one threat in some regions.

Cybersecurity is fast becoming a growing concern for businesses across the globe, with more and more companies waking up to the increasing threat of cybercrime.

A report released today by the World Economic Forum found that cyber-attacks were the fifth-biggest risk highlighted by executives, up from eighth position in 2017.

While it remains a lesser concern than issues such as unemployment and macro-economic concerns, this increase highlights a growing awareness that weak security is bad for business.

The survey asked 12,548 executives from 140 different countries to pick out the top five global risks their company might face in the next 10 years.

Cyber-attacks were the primary threat for respondents working in Europe, North America, and East Asia and the Pacific, while those in South Asia also called attention to the issue.

This year’s figures mark a change from 2017, when cybersecurity came out top for North America and East Asia and the Pacific. Two years ago, only North American businesses cited the prospect of a cyber-attack as their main concern.

“Cyber-attacks are seen as the number one risk for doing business in markets that account for 50% of global GDP,” said Lori Bailey, global head of cyber risk at Zurich Insurance Group.

“This strongly suggests that governments and businesses need to strengthen cybersecurity and resilience in order to maintain confidence in a digital economy.”

It’s unclear exactly what has sparked this shift in consciousness, however a number of high-profile attacks within these regions may have contributed to the results.

Just last week a data breach exposed the details of 4,500 Canadians, days after the government introduced a new bill to protect citizens’ data.

In East Asia and the Pacific a targeted hack on SingHealth, the largest healthcare company in Singapore, back in July pointed to the possibility of a nation state-sponsored attack.

And in Europe, a series of ongoing data breaches continue to compromise the personal information of thousands of Europeans.

The Regional Risks for Doing Business report surveyed business leaders from eight regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eurasia, East Asia and the Pacific, and South Asia.