I am making a presentation in which I wish to say that I am going to talk about the ______ of present-day cyber security threats.

I want to fill the blank with an adjective which describe two properties of the threats:

(1) Imminence: They (cyber attacks) are not something which can be ignored thinking they might occur in future; as they are occurring NOW in present time (imminent would be the word?)

(2) Intensity of Impact: They (cyber attacks) are so intense/devastating that they can not be ignored, as they can have devastating effect on national and individual security.

(3) Ubiquity: Cyber security can not be ignored as cyber security is involved in almost all pasts/aspects of our lives (as wherever there is technology, there is cyber security involved)

  • 3
    You are requesting an adjective, but your example is set up for a noun.
    – DjinTonic
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 13:17
  • 1
    Yes, well, "gonna talk about" sounds very informal. You need to find an English (language) editor. We don't do editing here.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 16:34
  • "in my presentation" is redundant, surely? If you really want to save words, cut it out.
    – Anton
    Commented Feb 14, 2022 at 18:26

2 Answers 2

  1. "Imminent" means about to happen; it describes the future, albeit the near future, so it isn't a good choice for your meaning of "currently in process."
  2. Some of your sentiments are covered by the phrase "clear and present danger." The phrase originated in a Supreme Court ruling about free speech, and was popularized by a 1989 Tom Clancy novel and subsequent movie.
  3. Sometimes you can't find one perfect word that happens to cram in three very distinct connotations. What's wrong with using three words?

These cyber attacks cannot be ignored, because of their immediacy, impact, and ubiquity.

... or, better yet, use a more active construction:

We cannot ignore these cyber attacks, because they are currently underway, they impact our security severely, and they permeate all aspects of our lives.


I'd suggest urgency.

urgency [noun] [mass noun]

1 Importance requiring swift action.

  • the discovery of the ozone hole gave urgency to the issue of CFCs
  • these are the grave urgencies facing us


  • The attack this past week by radical Islamists on the gas fields in Algeria shows the urgency of the threat.

[The New York Times via Ludwig]

Of course, seriousness is a synonym, perhaps with not quite the same punchiness:


(1) the degree to which something is bad or dangerous

  • Officials were downplaying the seriousness of the situation.

The quality of being serious, severe or extreme: severity, gravity

(2) the fact or quality of being important and deserving attention

  • the extreme seriousness of national security

[Macmillan] [reformattted]

And of the synonyms listed, gravity also fits with the example sentence:

'I am going to talk about the urgency / seriousness / gravity of the present-day cyber security threats in my presentation.' Only the first directly stresses the time element involved.

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