FireEye iSIGHT, the threat intelligence subsidiary of FireEye, provides intelligence related to emerging cyber threats to their clients to help businesses mitigate risk, manage incident response, and safeguard overall security. FireEye iSIGHT tasked the Capstone team with examining various drivers of cyber threat activity in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to determine which of these countries are most likely to develop cyber threat activity. To answer FireEye’s question, the team developed a methodology and constructed a model for predicting growth and trends in cyber threat activity derived from quantitative data and qualitative factors.

After significant empirical data collection, literature review, expert interviews, and analysis, the team determined the three main drivers of cyber threat activity to be capability, motivation, and opportunity. The team populated these drivers with 60 individual indicators (e.g. labor market statistics, education, cyber laws), which together allowed them to measure cyber threat activity.  This measurement was created for each country by calculating a weighted average, determined by weighting each of the 60 indicators by their degree of impact on emerging cyber threat, ranking countries within each indicator, and multiplying those weights and ranks.

The model includes a view of both state and non-state actors as well as drivers and barriers to emerging cyber threats. The model was designed to be flexible enough to examine other regions, while retaining robustness, and allowing FireEye iSIGHT the ability to provide predictive data for their clients around the world.