Security Intelligence Handbook Chapter 11: Geopolitical Intelligence Identifies IT Risks Across the Globe

Posted: 30th March 2021
Security Intelligence Handbook Chapter 11: Geopolitical Intelligence Identifies IT Risks Across the Globe

Editor’s Note: We’re sharing excerpts from the third edition of our popular book, “The Security Intelligence Handbook: How to Disrupt Adversaries and Reduce Risk with Security Intelligence.” Here, we’re looking at chapter 11, “Geopolitical-Party Intelligence.” To read the entire section, download your free copy of the handbook.

Nation-state threat actors are out to cause maximum damage and disruption, which has led to more critical infrastructure attacks targeting cities, government agencies, critical infrastructure, and large companies. Take, for example, the recent attack on more than 250 federal agencies and businesses presumed to be at the hands of Russian operatives.

Attacks like this underscore the importance of reducing geopolitical risk. That means going beyond protecting your digital assets from domestic cyber threats to also consider the unique challenges of defending against global threats and protecting your offices, manufacturing plants, warehouse facilities, and remote personnel in foreign countries—a whole new set of cybersecurity challenges come into play.

IT risks emerge when conflicts between countries occur. There are also risks related to national political environments and the stability of governments. Then there’s more risk when governments change environmental, health, safety, and financial regulations. Finally, activism on the part of polarized groups causes possible IT risks. Natural and man-made disasters—such as disease outbreaks, hurricanes and earthquakes, military actions, and terrorist attacks—also come into play. Keep in mind, some of these may seem to be purely physical in nature, the chaos that surrounds these events invite cyber threat actors to take advantage of the digital space during these times of crisis.

Because of these possibilities, 90 percent of executives from companies in the Americas say country-level and geopolitical risk have a high or very high impact. Worldwide, 70 percent of the executives say their company has an individual or function responsible for political risk management.1

Organizations solve these challenges with precision geopolitical intelligence. Consider the advantages of receiving a warning days before these types of events impact your operations, or getting alerts in real time as they occur. That knowledge enables you to prevent such events from affecting your organization—it at least puts you in a position to respond faster when mitigating their effect. Additionally, intelligence about local attitudes and long-term trends provides the insights you need to make smarter determinations about expanding operations into specific countries and cities.

To find out more, check out the impact of geopolitical risk and the benefits of geopolitical intelligence in “The Security Intelligence Handbook, Third Edition: How to Disrupt Adversaries and Reduce Risk With Security Intelligence.” In the excerpt below, which has been edited and condensed, learn how to understand the factors that cause geopolitical risk, discover all the groups that use geopolitical intelligence, and explore geofencing and geopolitical risk-event types.

  1. EY, “Geostrategy in Practice 2020,” (survey of global organizations with revenues of $250 million or more): May 2020.

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