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Flashpoint’s Inaugural Business Risk Intelligence — Decision Report

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Cybercriminals, jihadists, nation-state cyber actors, hacktivists, and cyber attention-seekers received widespread global attention throughout 2016, laying the foundation for what is already shaping up to be an eventful and challenging 2017. Consequently, the resulting complexity of the current geopolitical and cyber threat climate has led many decision-makers to reevaluate the role of cybersecurity within their approach to risk management.

The multitude of historic events and threatening schemes that emerged in 2016 not only underscores the shortcomings of traditional cyber threat intelligence (CTI), it further illustrates the crucial need for decision-makers across enterprises to recognize that addressing risk requires a far more thorough, contextual assessment of emerging threats and vulnerabilities than what has been historically possible.

To tackle this issue more strategically, organizations should consider a Business Risk Intelligence (BRI) program which, unlike CTI alone, provides full context and visibility into emerging threats and vulnerabilities — even those that extend beyond the cyber realm. As a starting point for decision-makers seeking to bolster their organization’s risk-management strategy with BRI, Flashpoint has identified a set of bellwethers for 2017, or potential events to anticipate given the current global geopolitical environment, including but not limited to the incoming U.S. administration and its relationships with nation-states and potential U.S. policy changes; economic sanctions in response to cyber activity; existing physical and cyber conflict; jihadist activity, specifically with respect to key ISIS strongholds; and the challenges faced by transnational organizations and regulatory bodies.

These represent a small fraction of what could potentially occur within the context of the current threat landscape; they nonetheless illustrate the expanding overlap between threats and actors within the cyber and physical realms. Decision-makers aiming to bolster their risk-management strategy should consider that if these or similar events were to materialize, the implications would extend far beyond the cyber realm and could likely impact all business functions across the enterprise — not just cybersecurity teams.

For more information regarding BRI, 2017 impacts, and additional insights pertaining to relevant threats, vulnerabilities, and their potential effects within the context of the current geopolitical and cyber threat climate, please reference Flashpoint’s inaugural Business Risk Intelligence Decision Report. This report offers a comprehensive threat perspective that accounts for the broad array of effects that threat actors can achieve both in the physical and cyber realm to help decision-makers and cybersecurity teams alike inform decisions and bolster their organization’s approach to risk management.

About the author: Jon Condra

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Jon Condra serves as Director of Cybercrime and Fraud Intelligence Production, as well as Research Lead for East Asia. Jon joined Flashpoint in July 2014 from Versign iDefense. Aside from helping coordinate Flashpoint’s Subject Matter Experts and the delivery of intelligence products, Jon specializes in East Asian, and in particular Chinese, underground communities, including hacking, hacktivist, and cybercriminal communities. Jon speaks and reads Mandarin Chinese, and has a BA from Gettysburg College and an MA in Security Studies/Intelligence from Georgetown University.