Cyberwarfare / Nation-State Attacks , Events , Fraud Management & Cybercrime

The Cyber Risks for Businesses in an Election Year

Expel CEO Dave Merkel on How Companies Encounter Geopolitical Risks
Dave Merkel, co-founder and CEO, Expel

As geopolitical tensions rise, businesses across the U.S. find themselves in the crosshairs of international cyber conflicts. The blending of global conflicts into cyberthreats is becoming a reality for companies far removed from the political sphere, said Dave Merkel, CEO of Expel.

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"The tension in regions like Ukraine and Gaza has heightened, making U.S. businesses targets for cyberattacks, even those as local as a credit union in Cleveland," Merkel said. Misinformation and direct cyberattacks can disrupt business operations, often as a byproduct of larger geopolitical conflicts.

"Cyber actors don't necessarily need to drop bombs to make an impact. A well-placed cyberattack can disrupt services, create chaos and indirectly influence political outcomes by weakening the perceived strength of a government or a political figure."

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group at RSA Conference 2024, Merkel discussed:

  • The indirect impact that international disputes have on local businesses;
  • The evolving tactics of cyber adversaries in leveraging geopolitical events to orchestrate impactful cyberattacks;
  • The need for businesses to adapt swiftly to the changing landscape of cyberthreats.

Merkel has been involved in the information security field for nearly 30 years, first as a federal agent pursuing cybercriminals in the era of floppy disks and 2400-baud modems and then as chief technology officer and vice president of products at Mandiant. Following FireEye's acquisition of Mandiant, he served as the global CTO of FireEye.

About the Author

Mathew J. Schwartz

Mathew J. Schwartz

Executive Editor, DataBreachToday & Europe, ISMG

Schwartz is an award-winning journalist with two decades of experience in magazines, newspapers and electronic media. He has covered the information security and privacy sector throughout his career. Before joining Information Security Media Group in 2014, where he now serves as the executive editor, DataBreachToday and for European news coverage, Schwartz was the information security beat reporter for InformationWeek and a frequent contributor to DarkReading, among other publications. He lives in Scotland.

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