Organizing roundtables and briefings

We organize briefings with international experts and other participants, to address pressing problems in the corporate world.

The possibility of organizing and participating in round tables with scientists from all over the world, experts and world-class authorities has been open to partners of the Institute of Information Security since 2016, after the participation of one of the ISI experts Olga Panchenko in an international expert conference with the participation of representatives of the Italian government.

IInformation has become an important resource in strategic management, and the way information is presented and disseminated today has a significant impact on how people perceive and understand a particular businessperson or company. In recent years, the development of social media and the Internet has made it easier for people to access information about businesses and their owners. While this creates opportunities for marketing and promotion, it has also created avenues of threat. In particular, wily adversaries can stage attacks on a businessperson’s reputation by means of spreading disinformation or decontextualized information. This can lead to the collapse of companies and the emergence of various kinds of conflict.

A major roundtable was held in 2016, in which Italian Professor Massimo Introvigne presented a model of public opinion formation. This was to provide the basis for the organization of further roundtables and briefings on information issues. This initial event was made possible by regular cooperation between the Institute and Italian colleagues and associates, and occurred at the invitation of Dr. Oleg Maltsev, Scientific Director of the Information Security Institute.

Professor Introvigne’s public opinion model involves five distinct levels of opinion-formation: government opinion, academic opinion, expert opinion, media opinion, and opinion formed online (through social networking sites and blogs). Paradigms descend into society from the government level. The next levels are the academic and expert. These levels are the more authoritative in forming a public impression. These opinions tend to disseminate via the media, which in turn largely drives the discourse on social media and blogs. Hence, public opinion is built from the top down, but also involves input from people at all levels of the pyramid. Roundtable briefings are targeted at the second level, academic opinion, and the third, expert opinion.

According to Professor Introvigne’s model, an information attack will often work in the opposite direction. Defamatory material is first published on blogs, websites, or other online sources, and/or disseminated through social media and messaging software. The more dangerous information attacks also reach the level of the traditional media, who pick up stories from the virtual sphere. These “journalistic” attacks need to be effectively countered. Unfortunately, most available tools, such as launching counter-investigations or spreading positive information, are costly and do not reliably neutralize information attacks.

With our roundtables series, we aim to counter information attack methodologies by means of educating public opinion at the academic and expert levels. We believe that this will have a multiplier effect, and generate countervailing forces which cannot be countered solely at the journalistic or Internet levels, since the more authoritative opinions will be disseminated downwards and will carry greater weight in forming public opinion.

The institution is also capable when necessary of utilizing the level of government in neutralizing informational threats and solving corporate problems. This level of public opinion formation is inaccessible to most adversaries in the information field.

Sociological research carried out at the Information Security Institute indicates that the formation of public opinion should be used primarily as a protective function to pre-emptively neutralize potential informational attacks. It also operates as an extension of public influence, but just as importantly, it operates as a kind of virtual shield against informational threats. Like many systems, the informational space has a vertical structure. The Institute makes the organization of roundtables available to clients as a means to combat informational threats. This product can be used not only to pre-empt or neutralize such threats, but also to reshape public opinion about a businessperson or a business in a controlled manner.

Materials on the subject:

Business reputation



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