Threatcasting has recently been in a spotlight because of “A Widening Attack Plain” by Brian David Johnson, which looks at the world as it will exist in 2026 with regard to cyber threats.  Threatcasting in this instance is being used to anticipate and prepare for the next likely domestic attack and either prevent it or mitigate the resulting damage. This method was deeply rooted in science fiction prototyping as it involved the effects on safety by technological advancements.

Threatcasting for Businesses

Recently, threatcasting has become a practice that has more and more grounds in the corporate arena and it is becoming a conceptual framework used to help multidisciplinary departments envision future scenarios. If used appropriately, it could help a firm avoid the kinds of issues that have recently plagued organizations like HPE, Yahoo, Palm and Samsung. As well as giving big business the potential to predict future, threatcasting can provide valuable insight for SMEs future and threats to their business.

Threatcasting for businesses is similar to the Delphi method, and a decedent of scenario planning, a tool that allows organizations to imagine a range of possible and probable futures.

The power of threatcasting comes from the details that arise from the narrative approach and the actions it specifies an organization can take. Threatcasting offers a framework and process to combine a wide range of inputs and exercises to imagine a broader range of future threat events.

Efforts like these are critical to identifying potential threats and building up defenses against them.

How to Threatcast?

The threatcast done by Brian David Johnson has a quite an extensive explanation of its methodology that can be very useful when you come to think about your business in the future (you can find it here).

A fundamental component of the threatcasting process is choosing the research inputs that will feed into the future models. This can be social, environmental and technical impacts, it can reflect the landscape, political forces, and economic impacts. Another perk of threatcasting is that it considers expert comments that are in the industry, but not in your direct vertical.

In short, threatcasting can be compared to SWOT analysis that had been crossed with a scenario planning.

For example, if you are a manufacturing company that is looking to prepare for the potential threats in the next few years, you might envision the possible futures that involve the prices of your supply chain and the qualified workforce. If prices of your supply chain and unemployment rise, what will your sales look like? But what if your supply chain gets more competitive? From these basic components, you can develop specific scenarios for your company and plan for them.

 

Traditional forecasting tools are necessary but not sufficient for the 21st century. Scenario planning can illuminate multiple futures, but it lacks specific details as well as clear actions that your organization could take, while threatcasting has the flexibility that is necessary for understanding how not to only prevent the unwanted results but benefit from your scenario forecast.

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