Cyberspace is the virtual environment in which asymmetric threats exerted by various entities (individuals, groups, organizations) are operationalized in the form of cyber-influence actions such as misinformation in the digital environment, transmission of electronic rumors, creating fake news, promoting propaganda narratives. The purpose of these approaches is to obtain strategic advantages of a political, military or commercial nature in influential operations carried out at local, regional or global level, through the use of information technology.
Given the strategic impact of these digital influence actions for each company, as well as the constant evolution of technologies (both software applications and hardware), a continuous R&D analysis approach is needed. To this end, in January 2020 a Specialized Center - Cyber Influence Assessment and Strategies Center - was set up for research and scientific analysis of topics of interest disseminated online, in particular through the use of social media platforms, within the Cyber Security critical infrastructure protection.
Cyber Influence Assessment and Strategies Center – CIASC is a research center in the field of identification and evaluation of techniques and objectives targeted in the activities of influence exerted by external entities (state actors, corporations or individuals) on segments of the population, communities, social categories., organizations and institutions in Romania, using modern applications, information systems and technological infrastructures, in order to change attitudes and behaviors by altering and strategically manipulating information.
CIASC consists of experts in digital transformation and social platforms, cybersecurity, social psychology, communication and media, within the National Institute for Research - Development in Informatics - ICI Bucharest, which develops analysis methodologies and (open source) materials and evaluations in the field of social influence exerted in the digital environment.
CIASC organizes debates in inter-institutional working groups and exchanges of experience with partners from Romania and the Euro-Atlantic area such as: universities and research institutes; consulting companies and technology providers; non-governmental organizations and independent experts. The center makes the results of research (reports, analyzes, studies, technical evaluations) available to public institutions interested in identifying and combating cyber-influence threats.