An IO threat (Information Operations threat) is an adversary that is organized, resourced, and politically sponsored/motivated to affect decision makers.
Hackers, criminals and organized crime, insiders, industrial and economic espionage, and, in some cases, terrorism constitute a general threat to the protected information environment. This general threat requires monitoring for indications of a specific IO threat and subsequently may require additional defensive IO measures.
An IO threat should be defined in terms of a specific adversary’s intent, capability, and opportunity to adversely influence the elements of the friendly information environment critical to achieving objectives.
- The Joint Chiefs of Staff, "Joint Doctrine for Information Operations" (Joint Pub. 3-13), at I-16 (Oct. 9, 1998).