What are the biggest cultural trends
Company future: These 7 megatrends are changing the world
It is not always just protectionism. National security, industrial espionage and human rights also play a role. The result: Foreign companies, platforms or people can quickly be targeted by state organizations.
- Several countries are excluding Huawei from the 5G expansion due to security concerns or are setting the hurdles very high.
- The US government has threatened to ban the Chinese-based social media platform TikTok.
- Chinese and American media companies are becoming the plaything of the conflict between their governments.
- Russia prohibits the sale of computers and smartphones that do not have Russian software preinstalled.
Europe must act
In this changed world, Europe can also quickly become a battlefield for techno-economic disputes. In particular, the dependence on American IT corporations could turn out to be an Achilles' heel for European institutions as well as for private companies. It would be conceivable, for example, that the USA could restrict the European or German business of its digital corporations in the course of a dispute over Russian energy supplies. By ordinance, Washington could make access to cloud-based services from well-known industry giants more difficult - with massive consequences.
The EU has recognized how difficult it can be to be dependent on individual IT providers. The current strategy aims to strengthen Europe's digital sovereignty and position itself as a uniform EU. One of the key projects is the GAIA-X initiative funded by Germany and France. The goal is a trustworthy and secure cloud infrastructure for Europe.
The EU states are also redefining the rules in the area of critical infrastructures. The lifelines of a modern society are no longer just water supplies, electricity and data networks; The same applies to the food supply, health, transport and financial sectors: an impairment would have serious consequences for the economy, the state and society. In IT security, for example, the demands placed on companies that operate in these sectors are increasing accordingly. You have to reckon with ever stricter certifications and requirements.
In this changing environment, it is important for companies to eliminate risks and seize new opportunities:
- Fix your own weaknesses, reduce dependencies
- conform to stricter standards and certifications
- Identify new business opportunities and encounter gaps when outside providers drop out
If the EU removes rag carpets and agrees, for example, on a uniform procedure for the 5G expansion, space will arise for new European players.
If war is the “continuation of politics by other means”, as the Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz put it, this is all the more true of the new, techno-economic Cold War. It is a permanent conflict that is conducted in secret. Cyber attacks are one weapon, disinformation is another.
In recent years, for example, a group of hackers ("Winnti") is said to have carried out cyber attacks against German companies, including six DAX companies. IT security experts even speak of a digital mercenary force. Your goal: industrial espionage. The attackers are interested in business secrets, organizational charts of certain parts of the company and information about the IT systems.
The aim of disinformation campaigns, on the other hand, is not money, infrastructure or data, but rather to influence public opinion. Information on the Internet is being used more and more often in a manipulative, half-truth or as a propaganda measure. Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in the US presidential campaign in 2016, the US has been discussing election manipulation through online advertising. Numerous media reports on misinformation and negative campaigning in connection with the current US elections show that combating them in social networks is a serious problem in this year's election campaign as well.
Cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns are asymmetrical methods that can hardly be traced. With little effort, they can do a lot of damage. It has never been so easy today to discredit people and companies.
Cybersecurity is more important for business and politics than ever before. Companies and institutions not only have to protect their systems and data from attacks, but also their reputation and integrity - because disinformation campaigns arise outside of their own sphere of influence, in social networks and are fueled by the use of bots.
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