Malign influence is one of the greatest challenges the world faces today. State-sponsored threat actors, criminals, and political actors alike are weaponizing information in online spaces to thwart elections, incite social division, disrupt supply chains, and manipulate markets. Due to the inherent overlaps in modern day digital influence campaigns and cyber intrusion campaigns, information security teams have been enlisted to contribute their skills, experience, and education to help detect, analyze, and defend against malign influence, but current analytic frameworks are either oversimplified or overcomplicated.
The diamond model for influence operations analysis is a holistic and familiar method for researchers and cybersecurity analysts to identify, track, analyze, and report on malign influence operations. This framework addresses both the technical axis and the socio-political axis, which are familiar from previous diamond models, and adds the core aspect of narrative and identity to the center of the diamond, the anchor to every effective influence operation. Using the diamond model for influence operations, analysts will discover what malign information is being spread, how it is disseminated, for what purpose, and which influence actors are behind each operation, enabling faster defense and more informed security decisions.