3 ways geopolitical attacks could impact your business this year

Nearly 75% of CEOs say their companies are affected by geopolitical cyber attacks, but only 15% feel resilient, according to a PwC report.

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Nearly 75% of CEOs worldwide say their companies could be impacted by geopolitical cyber warfare, according to a PwC survey released on Monday. The evolution of technology has been accompanied by increased cyberthreats, which presents a new form of attack at the geopolitical level, the report said.

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The report outlined the following three ways an organization's resilience could be tested in 2019:

1. Digital daggers: Rising tensions between some of the world's prominent leaders could cause confrontations in the cybersphere, according to the report. The conflict won't be flaunted, however, as adversaries will use a digital "cloak and dagger" approach, using silent weapons to target critical infrastructure, the report added.

2. Cyber deterrence: Policymakers around the globe are taking strides to prevent and mitigate cyberattacks. The Trump administration created a new cyber strategy that focuses on the offensive side, protecting US critical infrastructure. While the cyber deterrence policy is still being evaluated by Congress, critics of the plan worry that the increased offensive movement could cause adversaries to attack further, the report said.

3. Greater accountability for resilience: While the government tries to make improvements in cybersecurity, it expects companies to follow suit, the report found. The US government may try and reach out to major organizations to create better risk-management strategies for critical infrastructure.

In the meantime, companies must prepare for geopolitical cyber activity, the report said. Organizations should review their overall business architecture to determine where vulnerabilities may lie, assessing their digital resilience. Companies must then work on solutions, integrating resilience into daily operations. Lastly, businesses should take part in the global dialogue on digital resilience, said the report. By adding to the dialogue, companies could create actionable change in how people operate in the cyberspace.

To learn more about how geopolitical cyber warfare will evolve in 2019, check out this article from our sister site ZDNet.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Organizations' digital resilience could be tested this year by digital daggers, cyber deterrence strategies by policymakers, and expectations by the government. — PwC, 2019
  • Companies can prepare for geopolitical cyber activity by assessing their digital resilience, implementing resilience in operations, and contributing to the global dialogue on digital resilience. — PwC, 2019

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/gorodenkoff

By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.