NightDragon Market Report: Disinformation

Every time we navigate the Internet or our daily lives we are faced with an important question: what is true, and what is not?

This is the challenge we face today given the rise of disinformation.

Disinformation is false information deliberately, and often covertly, spread to influence public opinion or obscure the truth. While this false information is often spread over social media, it also inevitably finds a home on numerous other digital channels. (Note that the intent makes this different from misinformation, which is incorrect or misleading information but not necessarily with malicious intent).

Disinformation was named one of the top global risks by the World Economic Forum in 2024, with the group’s Global Risks Report citing that the “nexus between falsified information and societal unrest will take center stage amid elections in several major economies that are set to take place in the next two years.” These threats are growing at a significant pace – and don’t seem to be slowing down.

We’re already seeing the negative effects of these disinformation campaigns in action. Disinformation across social media and other communications channels has caused chaos to erupt in Ecuador, Ukraine, the United States, and other countries around the world in the last few years. This year, we expect over half the world’s

population to head to the polls across 80 countries, and disinformation campaigns pose significant concerns. What’s more, businesses are seeing their brands impacted through the spread of negative information or experiencing fraud to the tune of millions of dollars as the result of deepfakes or other malicious tactics.

As is the case whenever there is a significant dislocation between offense and defense, we see a significant market opportunity arise for innovators able to mitigate risk using artificial intelligence or other technologies. As one sign of this growth, we saw $248 million invested in 2023 and $79.9 to date in 2024 (on track to meet or exceed 2023 numbers), according to Altitude Cyber, and many interesting startups emerging and gaining traction in the market.

In this report, we’ll explore the threat landscape as it pertains to disinformation, as well as the new technology categories emerging in this sector. We have also spoken to many experts from the NightDragon Advisor Council, who share insights into what technologies are being put into action today, how they’re evaluating innovation, as well as the latest research and trends.

NightDragon continues to evaluate new markets as they arise to ensure we are abreast of the latest technologies and trends to make informed investment decisions. We will continue to release market reports on those sectors we believe hold interest or promise to be meaningful market segments or present significant opportunity.