Key themes from our Annual Malicious Risk Report 2024

4 April 2024

Understanding the nuances of the evolving malicious risk landscape allows organisations to better prepare for and respond to malicious incidents. And when it comes to these kind of events, improved organisational resilience ultimately protects bottom line, and reputation.

Below, we summarise the three key areas covered in our Annual Malicious Risk Report 2024.

  1. Geopolitical implications of energy transition
    The ongoing shift from a carbon-based economy to renewable energy sources is not simply a technological evolution — it’s a geopolitical game-changer. Consider the competition for rare-earth minerals, vital components in renewable energy technologies. Nations rich in these resources (Chile, Argentina, Namibia) are asserting control over their reserves, leading to a rise in resource nationalism.

Furthermore, geopolitical tensions are heightened as major powers compete for control over critical supply chains. Take the example of China’s dominance in the production of lithium-ion batteries, essential for electric vehicles — in response, the US are reducing dependence on Chinese supply chains, leading to the reshaping of global trade dynamics.

  1. The race for technological superiority
    In the age of technological advancement, the race for superiority extends beyond military hardware to encompass cybersecurity, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence.

Moreover, malicious cyber activities orchestrated by state and non-state actors pose significant threats to national security and organisational resilience. Recent incidents, such as the Chinese cyberattack targeting critical communications infrastructure between the US and Asia, highlight the escalating risks in cyberspace.

  1. Political polarisation and societal discontent
    As geopolitical tensions escalate, political polarisation and societal discontent are on the rise, posing significant challenges to governance and social cohesion worldwide. The erosion of trust in institutions, fuelled by the dissemination of misinformation and disinformation, exacerbates existing divisions between and within societies.

The aftermath of the 2020 US presidential election, as one such example, saw baseless claims of electoral fraud fuel civil unrest and undermine democratic norms. Similarly, in Brazil, contentious election results in 2023 led to violent protests, highlighting the deep-seated societal fissures exacerbated by political polarisation.

As we reflect on the key themes outlined in our Annual Malicious Risk Report 2024, it becomes evident that organisations are faced with significant complexity when it come to building and executing resilient strategies.

Having considered the geopolitical implications of energy transition, the race for technological superiority, and the dynamics of political polarisation, we’ve offered actionable discussion points for senior leaders to consider with their teams. Our aim is to equip organisations with a solid start point from which to develop pragmatic strategies to navigate risk and capitalise on emerging opportunities.

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