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8 predictions and trends for global security and risk intelligence in 2023

This AI created image is of a city that doesn't exist. The lights are blurry as if seen through a speeding car window. The buildings have shadows that seem as if they are second and third buildings.

A lot can happen in a year, especially in this decade. Here are a few things we see coming this year for global security, operational resilience and risk intelligence teams…

1. Splintering data platforms. Twitter’s slow erosion will continue in the coming year, and alternative platforms like Mastodon will benefit. As real-time information becomes more dispersed across various platforms and decentralized servers, risk intelligence analysts will find it more difficult to track discrete events and potential threats.

2. Increasing automation. With the economy dragging for the foreseeable future, security and crisis teams are under pressure to trim costs and show more strategic value. On the cybersecurity side, teams have largely automated the task of threat detection. The same trend is migrating to physical security, where tools can detect and evaluate threats in real time. Explains one risk intelligence leader about the productivity benefits: “[It’s] enabled us to shift several analysts to focus on complex strategic work that raises our profile and delivers more value to the company.”

3. The rise of resilience. The pandemic laid the groundwork for companies to take a more holistic, cross-departmental approach to risk. An ASIS survey found that convergence between security and resilience is outpacing the convergence between physical security and cybersecurity. We expect this trend to continue in 2023, which provides an opportunity for security teams to broaden their footprint and become a company-wide service. As one security leader said, “If it helps, take security off your business card.”

4. Hybrid work. Will employees return to work in 2023? It depends on the company and the role, but most experts agree that remote-capable employees will largely remain… remote. Rather than accelerating return-to-work, a recession could motivate some companies to close offices to cut costs. One thing is likely: employee events will continue to be a popular way to bring remote and hybrid teams together.

5. Uncertain business travel. Corporate travel budgets expanded in 2022, and surveys have been optimistic about returning “nearly back to normal” in 2023 – especially among smaller companies. But the likely shrinking economy looms large. After seeing a steady resurgence in business travel, Heathrow Airport predicts the rebound will “slow considerably” due to economic uncertainty. The travel site Skift predicts that small and large event travel will continue, “but mid-sized meetings will struggle.”

6. Crisis collaboration. During the COVID outbreak, companies collaborated with industry peers around policies and best practices. During Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, OSAC coordinated a shared encrypted chat channel for US companies scrambling to evacuate. Collaboration between companies faced with the same crisis is becoming more commonplace, especially as climate change fuels more severe weather events.

7. More record heat: The Met Office predicts 2023 will be one of the hottest years on record, thanks to the likely shift from a La Niña to an El Niño pattern. Heat waves may be especially intense, which contribute to wildfires, unhealthy air, hurricanes and flooding. Weather is shaping up to be a full-time, year-around job for security, crisis and resilience teams who already have plenty on their plates.

8. Generative AI. ChatGPT sent shockwaves around the technology world when it launched in late November. There are a lot of implications, such as the capacity to flood the internet with cheap automated content, including propaganda, disinformation and phishing campaigns. All eyes are on OpenAI’s planned launch of ChatGPT-4, a big upgrade planned for the middle of the year. Who knows, it may be good enough to generate intelligence reports on the fly – if you feed it the right source information.

We’ll be covering both the expected and the unexpected in the Global Security Briefing, now heading into its fourth year. Held every two weeks, the Briefing covers the latest security threats, supply chain impacts and geopolitical developments. We hope to see you there!

(Cory Bergman is the co-founder of Factal and co-host of the Global Security Briefing. Factal is a risk intelligence and breaking news platform that empowers companies to protect people, avoid disruptions and become more resilient in an uncertain world. Top image created by OpenAI’s DALLE-2 to the prompt, “abstract city at night.”)