06 Jan 2015

Could US sanctions on North Korea heighten military tensions?

Summary: As President Barack Obama orders sanctions on North Korea following the cyber terrorism targeted at Sony Pictures last month, what lasting impact will this have for the world’s defence industry?

The US has now officially pointed the finger for the cyber attack on North Korea, citing “provocative, destabilizing, and repressive actions and policies, particularly its destructive and coercive cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment”.

Cyber intelligence and defence

Following an executive order by Barack Obama, the US Treasury has designated three state-run organisations including the country’s intelligence and cyber warfare agency, a state-owned arms exporter and a defence research and procurement corporation.

This is understood to be the first time the US has sought retribution of any kind following a cyber attack on an American firm, highlighting the growing significance of the cyber industry and how seriously countries are treating cyber threats.

The sanctions are aiming to undermine North Korea’s defence sector, further isolating the government and creating a deterrent for future cyber attacks. Further sanctions are also expected in coming weeks.

While the new sanctions are undoubtedly a serious act by the US, the impact they will ultimately have is difficult to measure. Since North Korea and the US already have limited trade agreements and sanctions have already been in place in response to North Korea’s nuclear programmes, the new round of sanctions could be more a show of symbolic strength rather than outright aggression.

The incident has again raised the issue of cyber security to the forefront of global defence priorities.

It is estimated that a single cyber security breach can cost a firm anywhere between £600,000 and £1.15 million on average, showing the enormous value this industry has for organisations.

Services relating to this industry include training, disaster recovery, installation and maintenance, risk management processes and much more.

Defence Contracts International Insight

The global cyber security market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 11.8% over the period to 2018.

In order to maintain a commercial advantage, it is important for businesses to protect themselves from cyber threats including hacking and system failure, as well as understanding how to transform these threats into business opportunities in areas such as training, IT, data protection and emergency planning.

Exclusive to DCI, you can now download your free guide to maximising all the potential business opportunities available in the cyber security industry.

To get your copy, visit the DCI Industry Reports centre here