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Geopolitical issues affecting cyber security

Geopolitical issues are affecting business decisions, according to the majority of cyber security professionals, a survey shows

Two-thirds of cyber security professionals polled at RSA Conference 2019 say they have had to change where they do business and with whom due to international cyber security concerns.

This is the top finding of a survey of more than 200 information security professionals by security firm Tripwire aimed at exploring the extent to which business decisions are affected by geopolitical issues.

Tripwire notes that activity in the geopolitical landscape is inevitably intertwined with increased cyber activity across borders as reports of nation-state attacks rise.

In recent months, attacks on US energy infrastructure, NotPetya, the Sony breach and WannaCry have all been attributed to nation- tates and trust in foreign technology has been hit by bans, such as those around Kaspersky and Huawei by the US government amid continued concerns about malicious cyber activity aimed at influencing the outcome of elections.

The survey shows that most respondents anticipate that international cyber security concerns will continue to affect their business decisions in the future.

While almost half (48%) or respondents believe cyber security ramifications are not taken into serious consideration when geopolitical decisions are made, two-thirds feel that nation states are neglecting digital security compared with other aspects of national security.

“While some of these responses are not surprising, it’s likely that we’re underestimating the impact that growing nation state cyber attacks have on business choices,” said Tim Erlin, vice-president product management and strategy at Tripwire.

“With a majority of organisations (66%) saying they are actively rethinking who to do business with and where to engage, it’s clear that cyber security’s impact is broad. We may not be far off from a time when locating a business in a nation that provides strong defences is viewed as a competitive advantage.”

According to Tripwire, this impact could increase in the next year, with 87% of respondents saying that nation state cyber attacks are expected to increase ahead of geopolitical events in 2019. At the same time, 79% said they had increased concerns about nation state cyber activity this year.

In response, Tripwire said organisations should strengthen their infosec programmes by investing in the security basics such as vulnerability management.

Read more about nation state-backed cyber attacks

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

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