Information Warfare a Top Cyber-Threat in 2019


Seeing into the future of potential threats is always a complicated one. However, a recent report by Booz Allen, 2019 Cyberthreat Outlook, has put together eight key threats to watch out for as the year goes on.

Finding Threats

As well as filtering through thousands of intelligence reports from commercial clients, researchers gather feedback from analysts. Attempting to determine the biggest obstacles that organisations should expect to see this year, the report discovered that the biggest threat is that they may find themselves caught in a conflict of information.

Motives and Methods

“This activity encompasses a wide range of tactics, from orchestrating targeted breaches followed by data leaks to employing troll armies to push disinformation. So far, states have mainly used these capabilities for political and military purposes, like nudging voters and enflaming cultural conflict,” the report said. 

“Booz Allen believes in 2019, states will increasingly use their growing information-warfare methods applied to economic conflict and will likely aim to generate investor, regulatory, consumer, or political backlash against targeted sectors and companies by fabricating or inflaming public relations and legal controversies.”

Social Media

It is clear to see what social media has created a path for companies to find themselves lost in misinformation online. “Increasingly, nation-states and other entities use the power of social media to support information warfare campaigns,” said Pravin Kothari, CEO at CipherCloud.

“Social media can be deployed as a cannon of misinformation to damage corporate reputations, attack government institutions and their policies, attack individual politicians and organizations, and in general obfuscate the truth and confuse the public.”

Though the extra key threats are clear concerns to governments, as well as businesses, some threats do apply to consume. This is according to Byron Rashed, vice president of marketing at Centripetal Networks.

“Combating these threats is difficult, especially cyber-threats from nation-states that have no budgetary limits. Keeping IT assets (security and infrastructure) up to date with the latest versions of software and patches will help to curb some threats that may find their way into the network,” Rashed said.

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