Beyond Fake: Finding the Truth

Psychological defense in cybersecurity refers to strategies and tactics aimed at protecting individuals and organizations from psychological manipulation or exploitation in the digital space. This can include education and awareness raising to help people recognize and resist tactics such as phishing, social engineering, and other forms of psychological manipulation used in cyber attacks. It can also involve the development of tools and technologies that help to mitigate these threats, such as multi-factor authentication and anti-phishing filters. The expected outcome of a robust psychological defense in cybersecurity is to protect the truth, and fundamental freedoms, increase resilience, and reduce the risk of psychological exploitation in the digital world.

The deteriorating situation in the outside world makes the need to increase knowledge of how companies can identify, understand and face the impact of information extremely important. Information influence can exploit companies' vulnerabilities and challenge society's functionality and fundamental values, such as democracy, legal certainty, human rights, and life and health. Although psychology plays an essential role in many social engineering attacks, the most critical trend is that foreign states and competitors tend to use tactics to manipulate the market.

World On Fire

The past decade has seen a dramatic shift in how warfare is conducted, with the emergence of the cyber domain as a fifth area of armed struggle. Russia has been at the forefront of this development, utilizing its expertise in cyber operations to significant effect in the Russia-Ukraine war. Psychological warfare has been used in cyberspace and other countries, and the US presidential elections in 2016 are a prime example of how social media can be manipulated.

This shift has profoundly impacted the formation of the modern world order and international security and highlighted the need for effective cybersecurity countermeasures. Taking the right actions is needed to ensure that the internet remains a tool for democratic processes and freedom rather than a weapon of authoritarian regimes. Doing so can ensure that the world continues to change for the better.

Our Approach

Our approach is to identify, analyze and respond to the negative influence of information and other misleading information aimed at your customers and their interests. An essential part of the work is to produce situational pictures, analyses, and reports about actors and activities that may pose threats to vulnerabilities towards our customers and to propose relevant countermeasures. Essential tasks are also to be responsible for training, practice, and knowledge development, which, i.a., means ordering, following, and conveying research in psychological defense.

An essential part of this work is to create awareness in the organization about the impact of information through disseminating knowledge. Vuntie is therefore developing different kind of mindsets and solutions to increase understanding about the influence of negative information with principles and methods to identify, understand, and face the impact of such information. Psychology is a broad discipline, and many theories, approaches methods and it's important to combine these with latest cybersecurity thrends.

Methods we use

Psychological defense in cybersecurity can be proactively used through the following methodologies:

Awareness and education: Providing individuals and organizations with information about the methods used in psychological manipulation and exploitation, such as phishing, social engineering, and baiting, can help them become more vigilant and less susceptible to these tactics. This can include regular training sessions, workshops, and educational materials.

Anti-phishing measures: Implementing anti-phishing filters in email systems, web browsers, and other communication tools can help to identify and prevent phishing attacks, which often rely on psychological manipulation to trick individuals into divulging sensitive information.

Multi-factor authentication: Requiring multiple forms of authentication, such as a password and a one-time code sent to a mobile device, can help to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information.

User-centered security design: Incorporating principles of human-centered design into cybersecurity systems can help to make these systems more intuitive, user-friendly, and less likely to be exploited through psychological manipulation.

Ongoing monitoring and analysis: Regularly monitoring and analyzing cyber threats can help organizations stay informed about the latest tactics used in psychological exploitation and take steps to proactively defend against them.

Collaboration and information sharing: Sharing information and best practices among organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders can help improve the digital ecosystem's overall resilience to psychological exploitation.

Campaign analysis: The company could analyze and monitor information campaigns with hostile ambitions to identify their sources, tactics, and intended outcomes. This information could then be used to develop targeted and effective countermeasures.

Media literacy and education: The company could provide education and training to individuals, organizations, and communities on how to critically evaluate information, recognize misinformation and propaganda, and develop media literacy skills.

Counter-messaging: The company could develop and implement targeted campaigns to correct misinformation, dispel myths and rumors, and promote accurate and trustworthy information.

Disinformation detection technology: Use machine learning and natural language processing algorithms, to automatically detect and flag disinformation and other misleading information.

Collaboration and information sharing:Facilitate collaboration and information sharing among organizations and stakeholders, including government agencies, media outlets, and civil society groups, to promote collective action and strengthen the overall resilience of the information ecosystem.