The probability, nature and impact of cyber attack and/or cyber terrorism (yes, they are different but in many ways similar) are being debated elsewhere here.
To date the focus has been on vulnerability of large corporate clients and to a spectrum of threats generated by a broad constituency ranging from the independent hacker in search of kudos to governments attempting to steal information or bring down an enemy’s critical facilities. Corporates will be exhorted by governments to wake up to the threat of business interruption and espionage. Generals will speak of the new battle landscape and their troubles in getting their treasuries to fund research and defensive developments.
But what of the ‘Rest of the World’? Developing countries—autocratic or aspiring to democracy—often exhibit structural and economic weakness and struggle for political legitimacy, sometimes within contested boundaries and often absent a developed IT sector. Such conditions make for poor cyber security. Where recourse to the law is weak, cyber offensives catalysed with influence may combine to a potent degree, leaving multinational companies to worry about:
- critical assets of their supply chains
- vulnerability of their corporate intranets through less robust local offices
- disgruntled employees susceptible to persuasion or coercion
- social media activism
Perhaps, in this “inter-connected world,” it is the weaker states hosting critical corporate assets that represent the “soft underbelly” for cyber warriors.
|This post was part of our SPOTLIGHT ON CYBER: Is Any Industry Safe?, published June 25, 2013. The feature also included these other risks:|