In the coming years, nation states’ intelligence services will combine forces with commercial organizations to launch a new wave of industrial espionage. Organizations developing strategically important, next generation technologies will be systematically targeted as national and commercial interests blur.
Business models will unravel as data is compromised by nation state-backed attackers aiming to steal secrets and disrupt development. Strategic plans, IP and other trade secrets regarding the next generation of technologies will become a prime target for nation states aiming to get ahead in the race for economic and military superiority.
While the concept of espionage is not new, the digital realm has widened the attack surface. Cyber spies will optimize existing tools and develop new ones to launch espionage attacks on a grand scale. Targeted organizations should expect to face sustained and well-funded attacks, involving a range of techniques such as drone surveillance, zero-day exploits, DDoS attacks and advanced persistent threats. This will be amplified by concerted attempts to infiltrate organizations and coerce existing employees.