NATO Stratcom: A risk model to counter hybrid threats
October 05, 2020
Public Safety, Military & Defence
Background: In light of the war in Ukraine and other geopolitcal events, governments, institutions, and critical infrastructure face a growing number of hybrid threats. Understanding the nature of hybrid threats and their potential impact on states, the public, infrastructure, society and antagonists is critical. Stratcom turned to 4C Strategies to develop a tool to categorise and evaluate such threats on a case by case basis.
Challenge: Understanding and tracking the impact of actions taken to reduce the risk of hybrid threats, including potential responses and subsequent outcomes.
Solution: A tailored risk management model, providing a structured way to define threats, stakeholders, narratives, and identify barriers, actions, reactions, and outcomes.
Benefits: With a more structured approach to mapping potential and real hybrid threats, barriers can be put in place to minimise impact as well as consequences at an early stage. A better understanding of the effects of hybrid threat responses also leads to more risk informed decision-making.
Customer:NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (NATO StratCom COE), is a multi-nationally constituted and NATO-accredited international military organisation, which contributes to improved strategic communications capabilities within the Alliance and Allied nations.
Hybrid threats are on the increase
Hybrid threats include military and non-military activities and are designed to destabilise adversaries, with the intent of influencing and/or manipulating the political decision-making process. The war in Ukraine and other geopolitical events has made the need to effectively prepare for and respond to these, more important than ever.
4C Strategies provides military clients with a broad range of tailored solutions designed to manage complex exercises, enable capability development, and enhance readiness across the organisation. Book a meeting with one of our expert consultants to discuss your requirements.
Identifying and validating the effectiveness of hybrid threat responses
As a NATO-accredited international military organisation – although not a part of the NATO Command Structure – StratCom wanted to increase its support for democratic states with a more conclusive way of identifying and validating the effectiveness of responses to hybrid threats, prior to taking any action. To do this, they enlisted 4C Strategies, who have extensive experience within risk management, countering disinformation, and minimising the risk of cyber-attacks, as well as planning and carrying out exercises within the military and non-military sectors.
“We combined our skill sets to create a risk management model that could be used to not only map hybrid risks and possible outcomes, but also incorporate the concept of barriers as risk mitigation measures for StratCom” says Jonatan Jürisoo, Partner and Senior Consultant at 4C Strategies. “The model was then stress-tested with typical hybrid risk scenarios.”
The hybrid threat model can be summarised as:
Identify potential hybrid threat
Identify target audiences
Develop strategic narrative
Establish the desired behaviour change of audience
Identify barriers to desired result
Assess the risks to the target audience from suggested barriers
With the model, StratCom was given a common, structured methodology for mapping both potential and real threats. This not only promotes a better understanding of hybrid threat actions among states but also supports a better dialogue between stakeholders when combined actions are the best course of action.
“We’re always looking to sharpen the tools available to counter hybrid threats. The work with 4C Strategies has developed our understanding of how to assess vulnerabilities and risks related to public opinion and political decision-making.”
Ben Heap, Senior Expert, NATO StratCom COE
“A risk is never a single incident, but rather a series of events that occur, with multiple outcomes. With this model and Exonaut as a supporting tool, you can easily plan for differing events and outcomes,” continues Jürisoo. “Establishing risk mitigating barriers in a structured way to lessen both the probability and consequences of hybrid threats is something that is at the core of our company mission: to build a safer society.”
4C’s partnership with NATO dates back to 2015, when the company began supporting the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) as software supplier for the Electronic Military Training and Exercise Programme (eMTEP). The Exonaut eMTEP solution was developed to enable NATO users to dynamically plan and schedule exercises and training activities in real-time through an online common interface. 4C consultants continue to work closely with NATO’s core user group to implement the eMTEP exercise management solution as needs evolve.
Related Case Studies
Priority planning in an energy crisis with a National Energy Authority
Discover how 4C is supporting Styrel to map, prioritise and protect electricity-dependent critical societal functions.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookies are needed for correct functionality of the site.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
This website uses Google Analytics, LeadFeeder and MixPanel to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!