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Mapping Cyber Threats: The Role of GIS in Enhancing Public Safety

By Jeff Welch
October 3, 2023

GIS in Cybersecurity: Mapping the Digital Threat Landscape for Public Safety


The digital age has brought about unprecedented advancements, but with it comes a myriad of cyber threats. As cyberattacks become more sophisticated, the need for innovative tools to understand and counteract these threats is paramount. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have emerged as a crucial tool in this battle, offering a unique perspective by visualizing the digital threat landscape.

GIS: Beyond Physical Mapping

Traditionally, GIS has been used to map physical locations, but its application in cybersecurity is a testament to its versatility. By mapping cyber threats, GIS provides a spatial understanding of cyberattacks' origin, spread, and concentration. This spatial awareness is crucial for organizations to prioritize their defenses and allocate resources effectively (Locating the Perpetrator: Industry Perspectives of Cellebrite Education and Roles of GIS Data in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics, 2021).

The Digital Threat Landscape

The digital realm is vast, and so is its threat landscape. From phishing attacks originating from a different continent to local malware attacks, understanding the 'where' is as crucial as the 'how.' GIS helps visualize this landscape, making patterns more apparent and threats more tangible.

GIS in Digital Forensics

As highlighted in the referenced article, GIS plays a pivotal role in digital forensics. By mapping out digital footprints, investigators can trace back cyberattacks to their origins, aiding in attribution and ensuring accountability.

Actionable Insights from GIS Data

GIS does not just map out the threats; it provides actionable insights. By understanding the spatial concentration of threats, organizations can:

  1. Prioritize their defenses based on threat intensity.
  2. Allocate resources more effectively.
  3. Collaborate with regional partners to counteract concentrated threats.
  4. Enhance their predictive capabilities by understanding past threat patterns.


The integration of GIS in cybersecurity underscores the importance of spatial awareness in the digital realm. As cyber threats evolve, tools like GIS will be at the forefront, ensuring public safety by mapping out the digital threat landscape.



Locating the Perpetrator: Industry Perspectives of Cellebrite Education and Roles of GIS Data in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics. (2021). Retrieved from

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