Geopolitical Impacts of Cybersecurity on the Private Sector

The Internet enables almost anyone with a cell phone to connect to any computer, anywhere and copy, edit, or delete any digital asset. It has also opened the door to a world full of unauthorized users, who, through error or, more commonly, malice, seek to get at those digital assets. In addition to criminals, sometimes working in large teams, the perpetrators can include nation states, industry competitors, and ideologically-driven organizations and individuals, all of whom want to focus in on your proprietary digital materials and most likely inflict a world of hurt directly on you.

In a series of three on-line sessions held in September and October 2020 and supported by Darktrace, the CISO Division of the CIO Association of Canada focussed on the geopolitical implications for cybersecurity. This article summarizes the important content and implications of those sessions and ends with three conclusions associated with managing cybersecurity risk associated with third-party exposure, vigilance in monitoring geopolitical dynamics, and awareness that responsibility goes both ways.