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[CB20] It is a World Wide Web, but All Politics is Local: Planning to Survive a Balkanizing Internet by Mei Nelson

Since the birth of the World Wide Web in 1989, despite the fact that the key function of the Internet is to communicate, share and distribute information without borders, countries have varied in their understanding and policies on how the Internet should work in their jurisdiction; some have codified laws bolstering Internet sovereignty or built firewalls to control online information flows. At the 25th anniversary of the Internet in 2014, the Pew Research Center invited over 1400 technology industry leaders and academics to reflect on the impact of the Internet over the next ten years. The top Internet threat these experts named was that nation-states could increasingly block, filter, segment and Balkanize the Internet for geopolitical, economic, social and security reasons.

In 2020, six years after that Pew report, amidst a global pandemic, growing populist partisanship in many countries, and heightened geopolitical tensions between the world’s largest economies, the splintering of Internet communities seems even more imminent than before, as governments seek to limit the sometimes harmful power of social media speech and Internet companies' encroachments on personal privacy. Is the global trend towards segmentation and Balkanization of the Internet forthcoming? What are its implications for business operations globally in terms of cost, planning, continuity, and liabilities ? How will cyber threats evolve as businesses adjust their operations to adapt to a more-segmented Internet? This talk will address these issues by identifying and characterizing the evidence of the segmentation and Balkanization of the Internet and by providing broad cyber threat and risk profiles for each region and practical mitigation measures to improve business resilience.

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[CB20] It is a World Wide Web, but All Politics is Local: Planning to Survive a Balkanizing Internet by Mei Nelson

  1. 1. Accenture Cyber Threat Intelligence It is a World Wide Web, but All Politics is Local: Planning to Survive a Balkanizing Internet Mei Nelson October 29, 2020
  2. 2. What is Internet Balkanization?
  3. 3. The Internet A Free and Borderless Space? Or a Space Divided by Geopolitical Decisions?
  4. 4.  Cyber-balkanization (1997)  Splinternet (2001)  Internet Balkanization  Internet Sovereignty  Digital Colonialism  Slowbalization Many Names of Internet Balkanization "Electronic Communities: Global Village or Cyberbalkans?” Alstyne & Brynjolfsson; March 1997
  5. 5. Risks of an Open Internet Digital nationalism Threats to privacy and data security Threats to intellectual property Vulnerability to attacks A Balkanizing Internet Driving factors
  6. 6. Political factors  Non-intervention  Internet governance rights  Nationalism  Politically motivated filtering Economic factors  Technological development  Data = Oil  Commercial interests Social factors  Religion  Cultural acceptance Security factors  Edward Snowden case  State surveillance A Balkanizing Internet Driving factors
  7. 7. China Cybersecurity Law June 2017 Japan Act on the Protection of Personal Information (APPI) May 2018 June 2018 May 2019 Aug 2020 May 2021 General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) The Russian Internet Sovereignty Law China Global Data Security Initiative Brazil Lei Geral de Proteçāo de Dados Pessoais (LGPD) May 2017 Trends of Segmentation and Internet Balkanization Regulations and Legislation
  8. 8. Trends of Segmentation and Internet Balkanization Action taken – Internet cutoff Democratic Republic of Congo Bangladesh Papua New Guinea Belarus Egypt India Indonesia Iran Iraq Sudan Myanmar Zimbabwe
  9. 9. Trends of Segmentation and Internet Balkanization Action taken Online content filtration US sanctions India App bans
  10. 10. What does Balkanization Mean for Global Businesses?
  11. 11. Implications (I) What does a Balkanizing Internet mean for businesses? Business operation costs likely go up Costs of compliance in each business operation region Costs of data localization Costs to address the technical requirements for each environment Costs of building segregated network infrastructure Costs of keeping seamless online connectivity, particularly for businesses operating globally Costs of integrating data across regions and countries
  12. 12. Implications (II) What does a Balkanizing Internet mean for businesses? Weaponization of Supply Chains Hard technologies Digital platforms Data
  13. 13. Implications (III) What does a Balkanizing Internet mean for businesses? Fragmentation of Markets Market Access Restrictions
  14. 14. Risks & Vulnerabilities Implications (IV) What does a Balkanizing Internet mean for businesses? Data security Cyber attacks
  15. 15. Segmentation and Internet Balkanization Scenarios Source: Ministry of Electronics & IT , India India app bans
  16. 16. Affect security policies? Segmentation and Internet Balkanization Scenarios India app bans Affect workflow? Affect workforce communication? Affect work efficiency?
  17. 17. Source: iDefense Intelgraph Rsearch Segmentation and Internet Balkanization Scenarios Russian Internet Sovereignty Law
  18. 18. Source: iDefense Intelgraph Research Russian Internet Sovereignty Law Segmentation and Internet Balkanization Scenarios What an attack on DNS would look like
  19. 19. Segmentation and Internet Balkanization Scenarios A DNS alternative could likely do A potential backup to conduct an offensive attack? Increasing possibility of large-scale cyberattack? Increasing difficulty of tracing disinformation spreaders? Russian Internet Sovereignty Law
  20. 20. How Can Companies Survive A Balkanizing Internet?
  21. 21. Architect for a Balkanizing Internet Action Reasoning Regionally Isolate Active Directory Implementations Cross-Border Authentications Could Be Challenged by Policies/Laws Heavily Segment Enterprise Networks Force Ingress and Egress Inspection at Virtual Borders Multiple Software Defined Network Control Planes Shared Resources Invite Manipulation. Segment networks at Layer 2 and Layer 3 Regional Data Governance Strategies Data Should Only Reside in Where Necessary. Utilize API integrations across borders. Closely map intellectual property rights Understand where your company’s most valuable IP is located. Limit its ability to migrate to less stabile regions Make long term investment decisions in more stabile regions. Intellectual property should be integrated and grown in cloud fabrics with most political stability. Create In-Region Disaster Recovery Plans and Infrastructures Cross-Border Disaster Recovery Can Result in Fragment Aggregate security data at the local and global levels Companies should assess risk at both the regional and global level to best inform investment decisions 21
  22. 22. Maintaining Awareness to Survive a Balkanizing Internet Policy Initiatives Any local policy, national, and multilateral initiatives relevant to business operations? Cybersecurity Campaigns Any regional cybersecurity campaigns may affect your current security structure? Cyberthreat alerts Any cyberthreat activities targeting your industry or operating region(s)?
  23. 23. Taking Proactive Measures to a Balkanizing Internet 23 Conducting tabletop exercises Establishing a robust geopolitical threat intelligence program Identify indicators of balkanization Participating industry policy formulation process
  24. 24. Thank you
  25. 25. Accenture Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services in strategy and consulting, interactive, technology and operations, with digital capabilities across all of these services. We combine unmatched experience and specialized capabilities across more than 40 industries — powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. With 506,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture brings continuous innovation to help clients improve their performance and create lasting value across their enterprises. Visit us at www.accenture.com. Accenture, the accenture logo, and other trademarks, service marks, and designs are registered or unregistered trademarks of accenture and its subsidiaries in the united states and in foreign countries. All trademarks are properties of their respective owners. All materials are intended for the original recipient only. The reproduction and distribution of this material is forbidden without express written permission from accenture. The opinions, statements, and assessments in this report are solely those of the individual author(s) and do not constitute legal advice, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of Accenture, its subsidiaries, or affiliates. Given the inherent nature of threat intelligence, the content contained in this document is based on information gathered and understood at the time of its creation. It is subject to change. Accenture provides the information on an “as-is” basis without representation or warranty and accepts no liability for any action or failure to act taken in response to the information contained or referenced in this report. Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved.

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