Combating foreign interference

Johannesburg, 09 May 2024
John Mc Loughlin, CEO, J2 Software.
John Mc Loughlin, CEO, J2 Software.

The spectre of foreign interference, ranging from corporate espionage to intellectual property theft, poses significant threats to organisations striving for competitive edge.

Against this backdrop, the release of the 2024 Insider Risk Investigations Report by the DTEX i3 team underscores the imperative for robust cyber security measures and collaborative defence strategies within the business community.

Cyber security expert and J2 Software CEO John Mc Loughlin says this comprehensive report serves a dual purpose – to provide insights into the world of insider threats and to advocate for enhanced co-operation in safeguarding corporate interests.

"With a notable 70% increase in demand for protection against foreign interference since 2022, organisations are increasingly recognising the urgency of fortifying their defences. The report offers invaluable behavioural analyses within the framework of the Insider Threat Kill Chain, aiding organisations in mitigating risks associated with data breaches, system tampering and inadvertent data leakage," he explains.

Of particular concern is the revelation that foreign state actors are engaging in sophisticated social engineering tactics to exploit insiders and achieve their clandestine objectives. This includes espionage, intellectual property theft and infiltration of critical infrastructure, all integral components of broader strategic manoeuvres aimed at undermining organisational integrity.

The proliferation of socially engineered insiders and legitimate talent programmes further exacerbates these risks, facilitated in part by advancements in artificial intelligence.

However, the report underscores that bolstering insider risk programmes alone is insufficient in the face of evolving threats. Collaboration between public and private sectors is essential, with organisations urged to share insights, refine skills and cultivate partnerships to enhance their defensive capabilities.

Notable entities such as the US Insider Risk Management Centre of Excellence and the Australian Insider Risk Centre of Excellence exemplify the importance of collaborative initiatives in addressing these challenges.

Moreover, the blurred distinction between internal and external threats necessitates a holistic security approach that transcends traditional boundaries. Understanding human behaviour emerges as a pivotal component in early threat detection and mitigation.

"By fusing technology with psychological insights, organisations can better identify behavioural patterns indicative of malicious intent, thereby strengthening their defensive posture," he stresses.

Central to this endeavour is the cultivation of bidirectional loyalty within organisations, fostering a workforce characterised by transparency, respect and mutual trust. Such an environment not only enhances organisational resilience, but also serves as a deterrent against external manipulation.

"The 2024 Insider Risk Investigations Report serves as a call to action for businesses to prioritise cyber security and adopt collaborative defence strategies. Its actionable insights and recommendations provide a roadmap for fortifying defences against the pervasive threat of foreign interference, underscoring the imperative of unity and collaboration in safeguarding corporate assets," he concludes.


J2 Software

J2 Software is a cyber security-focused technology business founded in 2006 to address the critical need for effective cybersecurity, governance, risk, and compliance solutions that are practical and purpose-built. With the continued rise of cybercrime, identity theft, and confidential data leakage, J2 Software's mission is to provide managed cyber security services that are not just a competitive advantage but an absolute business necessity.

Our comprehensive managed cyber security services cater to businesses of all sizes, ensuring greater visibility to identify risky behaviour and enhancing the capability to respond effectively to prevent losses. We understand that cybersecurity is essential for protecting valuable assets and maintaining business continuity.

J2 Software delivers essential tools that empower organizations to take control of their technology spend. Our hand-picked solutions, combined with expert services, provide complete visibility over our customers' environments while reducing risk and lowering costs.

With a dedication to improving the cyber resilience of our customers, J2 Software has expanded its reach globally, serving more than 575 customers across four continents. Our commitment to innovation, reliability, and customer satisfaction has made us a trusted partner in the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity. Partner with J2 Software to safeguard your digital assets and secure your business's future.

Editorial contacts

John Mc Loughlin
J2 Software
(021) 461 1223