September 23, 2016
Joe Franscella

What Is A Global Threat Assessment?

<p>What does global politics have to do with enterprise cyber-security? World affairs affect you and your network a lot, actually. Intercontinental cybercrime on the macro level directly affects domestic affairs. Individual hacking victims comprise the mosaic of international espionage.</p><p>What is the state of global cyber-threats? Just as the Internet has changed the way we work, communicate, and entertain ourselves it has influenced international relations and foreign policy. While an international struggle over data security is taking place, experts work to make sense of it. For as long as we’ve had foreign policies, we’ve had assessments of the worldwide landscape. A global threat assessment reports research into military threats, terrorist activity, espionage and other signs of existing or potential conflict.</p><p>International espionage and other hacks are running rampant and capturing experts’ attention as a serious problem. Economic strength and military prowess go hand in hand. Skipping the research and development of technologies can give a country enormous economic and military advantage. Government-sponsored groups employ hackers to go after plans for green energy, military tactics, healthcare innovations and other such valuable developments.</p><p>The scale of state-sponsored cyber-crime is a staggering problem almost too pervasive to comprehend. China began a campaign to bolster its international standing by stealing proprietary information from private sector companies worldwide. Estimated losses are in billions of dollars. In <a href="" target="_blank">April 2015 alone China sponsored 70 successful hacks</a> against US companies.</p><p>Terrorists are leveraging the power of the web. Radicalization which turns unhappy citizens into violent insurgents is occurring online through social networks. These groups are able to support one another with digital training media and electronic transfer of funds.</p><p>Concern is rising over device hacks. Smart devices including security cameras, pacemakers, and GPS controlled vehicles could potentially be hacked and turned against us. Drones carrying either weapons or necessary supplies can be diverted or overtaken. The US was shocked to discover our domestic political process is susceptible to outside involvement. The <a href="" target="_blank">Democratic National Convention servers were hacked</a> and files leaked during the presidential primary election. This hack was attributed to a Russian linked group.</p><p>The other major component of a global threat assessment besides the research phase is to discuss potential events and evaluate hypothetical responses. After acknowledging the hacks, President Obama made an agreement with China to cease industrial espionage. It is difficult to know for sure, but studies show that China has now directed their attention to Russia.</p><p>This state of affairs affects organizations in North America, particularly the US, directly. The government is taking cyber-crime seriously, having requested billions in funding for counter-measures. A movement is underway to require participation in threat intelligence reporting and exchanges. The Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing Act, or <a href="">CISA, mandates contractors to collect and share threat intelligence</a> and encourages participation by private entities.</p><p>How can you do your part? Not to parrot old time war slogans, but the war against international hacking is fought in domestic server rooms like yours. It is your responsibility to protect your network and the data therein. Even if you are not in the business of producing innovations that are of interest to global spies, you must take this global threat assessment very seriously. Hackers count on individual <a href="">users to make mistakes that create vulnerabilities</a>. Use threat intelligence to discover weak points like unpatched network security flaws, poor authentication, and phishing scams. Contribute threat intelligence to the zeitgeist. Use open source threat feeds to research and share data about suspicious traffic.</p><p class="center"><a href="" class="button button-lg button-rounded button-blue-grad">Download Now</a></p>

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