Currently, the most affecting geopolitical conundrum has to be the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine and the response and sanctions Europe and the United States have made against Russia. In retaliation to those sanctions and other penalties, Russia is likely to turn to cybercrime directed at the United States and Europe.
Additionally, Russia may specifically target large industries and companies who have exited Russia since its invasion of Ukraine, and has even threatened to target Russian employees of such U.S. and European companies
This kind of tension is likely to persist in one form or another—countries are always at odds with one another, and companies like yours may feel the brunt of those tensions.
How can employers secure the safety of their employees? Geopolitical Monitoring can help you gain situational awareness of rapidly evolving geopolitical risk to your employees and/or assets within or across geographic regions.
Why Is Geopolitical Monitoring Important?
The world is increasingly reliant on the internet. Onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted almost the entire working world towards remote work online.
Before this shift, industries needed to rely on interconnected information systems to implement automated processes and transactions. Most industries now rely on the internet to get their work done.
But with so many businesses operating in the online realm, the risk of cyber security breaches has increased significantly.
In fact, VMware’s 2021 Global Security Insights Report found that 63% of US cybersecurity professionals said attacks increased due to employees working remotely.
This is why predicting future shifts of the world’s political powers is crucial to protecting physical assets from cyber security breaches. Without a geopolitical intelligence platform to monitor these shifts and gain situational awareness about geopolitical events like protests, social unrest, election fraud, structural attacks, etc. your company could be vulnerable to both cyber and physical attacks.
What Global Cybersecurity Threats are On the Rise?
Overseas hackers are increasingly interested in targeting the energy and telco sectors as well as financial services – all critical infrastructure that can inflict the most damage. Here are a few scenarios worth considering:
- Ransomware to seize control of assets: in line with recent events, where Russian hackers have infiltrated and halted systems in these industries. In 2021, suspected Russian hackers seized the United States’ Colonial Pipeline with a ransomware attack. This led to nearly 100 gigabytes of stolen information and halted gas distribution for five days, and subsequently, temporary fuel shortages along the East Coast. The economic impact of an event like this could be staggering. With gas prices increasing, so will the cost of other goods and services as gasoline surcharges are taken into account when transporting items.
- Unauthorized access to important documents: Observing the top 20 Telco companies in the Fortune Global 500, over 5.6 million records have been exposed in data breaches since 2018, according to Constella’s Telco Sector Exposures report. Moreover, over 3.7 million records were exposed in data breached in the Top20 Fortune Global 500 FinServ companies, according to Constella’s FinServ Sector Exposures report. Cybercriminals use information stolen from these breaches to financially harm you and your company.
- Phishing scams that target employees: Your employees are always at risk of opening a malicious link that can jeopardize your systems and critical infrastructure. Hackers are aware of this weakness and will continue to exploit it.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Foreign Cybercriminals?
While the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has brought many of these cyber concerns to light, they are not new. Nor will they go away—the constant shifts in the geopolitical structure of the world will create new cyber threats that you need to be prepared for.
Here are some protocols your geopolitical security program should include
- Analytical anticipation of threat: As global climates shift, your cyber security should also adapt. With constant monitoring and analyses of new risks, your protocol will be able to identify risks, rate their likelihood of occurrence, and deliver a comprehensive report to your staff.
- Fast, data-supported decision making: A security program that analyzes more variables can deliver more robust reports on your cybersecurity risks. With more data, key decision-makers can make better and more informed decisions on how to bolster your cybersecurity.
- Deepfake and other fake news protection: Deepfakes, videos that use software to imitate a person with shocking accuracy, are becoming more sophisticated and widespread, leaving many companies worried about the impact they will have on identity theft and brand reputation. Advances in technology and the use of social media allow for the easy dissemination of fake news. On Twitter, a single fake post can now send an entire company, economy, or community into chaos, impacting its reputation and bottom line.
Constella Intelligence - Geopolitical Intelligence Platform
Operating a business across multiple global markets has many cyber and physical security risks. Geopolitical monitoring can mitigate those risks by gathering and analyzing data about a given country’s geography, language, and sociopolitical context.
Constella’s geopolitical protection platform collects and interprets intelligence from the surface, deep, and dark web and social media, to anticipate global geopolitical trends that may present early warning signals of risk to organizations—including specific executives, facilities or operations. Anticipating these risks through geopolitical intelligence monitoring enables global organizations to stay one step ahead.
Request a demo of Constella’s geopolitical protection platform and learn how you can stay one step ahead of geopolitical threats that could adversely impact your people, your brand or your assets.
Learn more about our Geopolitical Intelligence Monitoring solution.