2023 Security Trends - What To Watch For As 2022 Winds Down

August 29, 2022

2023 Security Trends Are Similar to 2022By all measures it’s been an interesting 2022 so far and the below trends are likely to extend into early 2023. Here are the key trends we are monitoring at Red Five, along with their impacts and some suggestions of what you can do to get ahead of the concerns – for your company, your clients, your families.Five Trending Issues:

  1. Disinformation continues, albeit at a slightly lesser pace than last year. Disinformation foments unrest and concerns are emerging from the recent Roe v Wade decision, specifically around clinics, government facilities, and protest locations. State legislatures are attempting to solidify constitutional changes in various states, to include new laws to support local efforts – on both sides of the abortion issue. As Covid becomes less of a focus by the media you can expect more focus on Russian and Chinese disinformation efforts in a lead up to the mid-term elections in the US.
  2. Mid-term elections are expected to be contested, perhaps violent. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has put out a notice to expect violence and incidents involving election officials and politicians. As the results become clear in early November, and are contested into December, we can expect fallout from run-offs and challenges by various parties, and their legal teams. The DHS alert warns that “political candidates and election workers could be targets of violence, adding that lone assailants, small cells of actors, and foreign adversaries, like ISIS, are seen as threats.” Yes, militant jihadist threat has not gone away.
  3. Law enforcement agencies are struggling nationwide to maintain staffing and funding. Roe v Wade, already mentioned above as a focus of disinformation, will further stretch public safety agencies. In a much less disruptive year law enforcement agencies would likely still struggle to be able to respond to all the issues in their respective jurisdictions due to staffing.
  4. International issues will continue to have US, and extended local impact – this is even more likely to occur and be successful due to the aforementioned issues. As Russia and China continue to pursue efforts to weaken the West, expect public exposures of their collusion during the Ukraine/Russia War. These revelations will extend beyond Chinese purchase of Russian oil – expect to learn of Chinese support to Russia behind the scenes. This will further heighten tensions between Russia and NATO. Also, keep an eye out for Israel/Iran tensions as their previously covert efforts become more public with the possibilities of a broader regional conflict, involving the US. As mentioned in a previous blog, you cannot discount a cyber-attack on the US – or China making a move on Taiwan in the middle of a Russia/NATO conflict. If this occurs you can expect disruptions to occur in the US, either on the power grid, or other critical infrastructure -affecting local neighborhoods, services, utilities.
  5. The socio-economic issues inherent in a recession frequently result in more suicides, increased active shooter/threat incidents (already underway), and amplified polarization of society. Fears of a looming recession also dominate the headlines as we emerge from Q2 of 2022. While it is not 100% certain that a recession will occur, we are close to it already – with only a sliver of hope remaining to pull out of this economic nosedive. This economic downturn, as it has in past recessions, will result in higher crime, more emotional and mental health crises, some shortages of goods, and higher prices (yes, even higher than we have today.)

All of these trends will likely overlap into early 2023, and could possibly extend further.  Staying ahead of these trending issues is critical. Moreover, having the foresight to plan ahead for the impacts and mitigate them to the extent possible for your family, your company, or your clients is crucial.Impact:  Facilities, enterprises, and family offices can expect ongoing impacts from these trends well into early 2023. The issues that are occurring today, and those expected to be on the calendar for late 2022, will not recede quickly and long term solutions to mitigate are not yet on the horizon.One outlier might be a leadership change in Russia. Public rumors persist about his failing health, inability to lead, and potential for a coup from his closest advisors. Putin has not stayed in power this long by leaving windows of vulnerability open for his enemies. However, things are not what they used to be in the Kremlin and even among his closest allies. A leadership change in Russia may bring about an end to hostilities, but this is not certain as the vacuum would need to be filled with moderates, or at least someone willing to come to the negotiating table. A possible ray of light – a leadership change that does end hostilities could also provide relief in the oil industry, bolster the economy in Europe, improve the export of crucial grain from Ukraine, and help minimize the disastrous refugee issues in Eastern Europe.Five Recommendations:

  1. Take Care of Your People. Employees working during longer terms of disruption, challenge, and stress – especially those charged with protection, guarding, responding, monitoring, etc. – need breaks, need support, and need encouragement. Law enforcement agencies, intelligence personnel, fire/medical, and military personnel all need more TLC. This also goes for the rest of your workforce, and your leadership teams. They are your most important resource.
  2. Partner with a trusted vendor with experience in this space to get to the truth, the intelligence your entity needs to operate safely and make good business and family office decisions. To help fight disinformation and sort through all the noise it’s urgent that corporate enterprises leverage an analytical capability – whether in-house or via a trusted vendor.  This bespoke security analysis, tailored to the needs of the decision-makers of the organization is becoming increasingly critical for enterprises, small companies, and family offices.
  3. Solidify your manpower needs for physical and cyber security now by locking in contracts and availability. Security spend for both cyber and physical resources is already up for 2022. You can expect continued demand to be high for manpower - to keep facilities safe from protests, executives safe during travel, and analysts to stay ahead of corporate threats and protective  intelligence needs. Labor shortages will not help the situation. Cyber and online security threats are pervasive and intensifying – as mentioned above this will get much worse as we approach the mid-terms this Fall.
  4. It's another good time to review your continuity of operations plans for your family and enterprise. While Covid remains, and some companies smartly reviewed their plans for pandemics – many have continued to ignore this key element of their resiliency. Take the time to review your plans, update them, and exercise them before the mid-term elections in November.
  5. Train when you can, but train for the right challenge - focus on resiliency. Providing your team with resiliency training, and giving your broader employee population information to help protect themselves in a crisis are important initiatives that increase productivity.  During budget reductions training sometimes takes a cut, but considering what’s trending above – perhaps this time a broader effort at leadership, team building, and resiliency training makes more sense.

Stay safe out there.

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