Technology-enabled Threats

This theme concentrates on horizon-scanning for the increasingly diverse threats augmented by technology in the modern-day security environment.




As reliance on technology continues to increase, so will the number of ways that it can be used to undermine our security.

The weaponising of emergent technologies such as AI will intensify threats to digital security such as AI-enabled malware and the automation of social engineering attacks. Political security and resilience will also come under attack with more convincing deepfake technology generating synthetic media and amplifying disinformation. And there are physical security challenges, such as the use of AI to exploit vulnerabilities in smart cities and interconnected national infrastructure. Various other technological and scientific breakthroughs will raise similar questions, including in quantum computing, synthetic biology and augmented/virtual reality. Our programme is designed to encourage a more precise articulation of the impacts that are expected from new technologies and the guardrails that can be erected to protect against threats to security.

Programme outputs

Resilience Beyond Observed Capabilities (RBOC) Network Plus
RBOC Network Plus will inspire new knowledge and new capabilities to help the UK protect against and prepare for major security threats. Working from a scenario of a major, complex mass-casualty attack on Greater Manchester in the year 2051, RBOC will create an interdisciplinary community linking the UK defence, industry and academic sectors. This community will co-create high-quality, high-impact research on adversary capabilities and how these can be met and overcome through technology, organisation, law and regulation, policy or behaviour change.’

Workshop Series: State Threats and Criminality: A Cross-Disciplinary Exploration of State-Based Organised Crime, Illicit Finance and Cyber Threats to the UK - April 2022
RUSI held an in-person workshop in April 2022 in collaboration with the NCA on the topic of ‘State Threats and Criminality’. This gathered stakeholders from across HMG in order to map the intersections between state threats and criminality and establish a first step in building a cross-cutting community of stakeholders dedicated to advancing the debate on state threats facing the UK. It is the starting point for the development of a larger-scale research effort at RUSI on state threats.

The Silent Threat: The Impact of Fraud on UK National Security

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