While disinformation has played a powerful role in the geopolitical world over the last four years, enterprise is increasingly needing to be prepared to address numerous types of disinformation as well.
Much of the discourse on ‘fake news’ these days conflates three notions: misinformation, disinformation and mal-information. It’s important to understand messages that are true from those that are false, and messages that are created, produced or distributed by coordinated inauthentic behavior who intend to do harm from those that are not.
According to a recent discussion with PhD researcher Samantha North, there are four future trends in the disinformation world:
- Disinformation for Financial Gain: Rather than a political angle where actors are conducting disinformation campaigns as part of a larger influence effort, actors are simply creating disinformation ads because the sensationalism generates higher clicks for ad revenue.
- An Increase in Mal-Information: Information that is true but used for nefarious purposes. The cyber security industry has seen this trend for years when actors post sensitive exfiltrated data online from network breaches in the hopes of recovering a ransom or selling stolen information in forums. Large enterprises certainly have no shortage of sensitive matters relating to intellectual property, human resources issues, security incidents, and corporate governance calamities. Whether stolen through cyber theft or an insider threat leak, information that is weaponized for nefarious purposes will only increase.
- Conspiracy Theorists to Double Their Efforts: Many conspiracy theorists see social media platforms as an extension of the elites and because they have few other means of propagating their message, they will continue to use these platforms.
- The Emergence of Deepfakes: While the ability to create deepfake videos is increasing, deepfake audio still has some advancements before it becomes a viable threat. Nevertheless, deepfakes are serious threats to the authenticity of the truth and are starting to make their way to enterprise.
Check out Samantha North’s comments on how enterprise and the political landscape should be thinking to address disinformation campaigns below: