GENEVA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Cyber-attacks are the number one risk in East Asia, Europe, and the Pacific and North America, according to the World Economic Forum's (WEF's) Regional Risks for Doing Business report on Monday.
There are significant differences in risk perceptions across the eight regions covered in the WEF's regional risks' report, the forum said in a statement.
"Cyber-attacks are seen as the number one risk for doing business in markets that account for 50 percent of global GDP," said Lori Bailey, global head of Cyber Risk, Zurich Insurance Group, and member of the WEF's Global Future Council on Cybersecurity.
"This strongly suggests that governments and businesses need to strengthen cybersecurity and resilience in order to maintain confidence in a highly connected digital economy."
Over 12,000 executives highlighted concerns ranging from economic to political, societal and technological.
Unemployment, failure of national governance and energy price shocks were among the top worries of executives across various regions.
This points to growing concerns about technological risks.
Cyber-attacks were the top risk in two regions, according to the 2017 survey (East Asia and the Pacific and North America), and only one region in 2016 (North America).
"Cyber-attacks are increasing in prominence, but it is striking how many business leaders point to unemployment and national governance as the most pressing risks for doing business in their countries," said Aengus Collins, WEF' head of Global Risks and the Geopolitical Agenda.
The new report builds on data from the World Economic Forum's annual Executive Opinion Survey, which surveyed more than 12,000 executives in 140 economies this year.
The World Economic Forum's Global Risk Report will be launched on Jan. 16.
"Given the current geopolitical uncertainty globally, cooperation within and among regions is of critical importance," said Mirek Dusek, the deputy head of Geopolitical and Regional Agendas and a member of the WEF's executive committee.
Failure of national governance ranked number one in Latin America and South Asia, highlighting the costs of political strains that have been evident in much of the world in recent years.
In the energy-rich regions of Eurasia and the Middle East and North Africa, energy price shocks were ranked as the top risk to do business.
Unemployment was perceived as the top risk for doing business in sub-Saharan Africa, representing mostly the absence of demand in the region.