New challenges are constantly emerging within the field of cyber security. Higher levels of cooperation are necessary in order to combat both Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) as well as cyber crimes.
Guest Speaker Major General Roar Sundseth of the Norwegian Armed Forces set the tone by stating, “We are at the beginning and the obstacles will only increase 10 fold in the years to come.”
On Friday November 29, AmCham Sweden’s Security (OSAC Overseas Security Advisory Council) Working Group hosted a breakfast seminar at Sheraton Stockholm Hotel where leading experts and invested parties gathered to hear Major General Roar Sundseth and Bruce Strauss, Assistant Legal Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, discuss this important and intricate topic.
Sundseth presented “A Military Assessment of the Cyber Security Threat: The Norwegian Armed Forces Plan to Counter it,” saying that current trends are in the right direction. Sundseth, who serves as the Chief Information Officer and Commanding General Cyber Defense, has been heading this division since its formation last year. Due to its relevance against terrorism, Norway made the progressive decision to incorporate cyber security directly into its military operations. “Most nations outsource these functions, Norway put it all in one. This allows for a much better control over security,” remarked the General.
Currently his organization has 1200 employees and a budget of 2 billion NOK with an additional 1 billion NOK a year being directed towards procurement. In order to staff such an operation, Sundseth runs an engineering university where graduates are required to work for the organization for a minimum of 3 years. Sundseth, who is retiring at years end, also outlined the increase in Network Centric Warfare. “The more networked and connected, the higher the security risk. That is why this is of such great importance.”
Bruce Strauss provided a U.S. perspective on cyber crimes abroad and the benefits of cooperation. He discussed the FBI’s close collaboration with Sweden’s National Bureau of Investigation on tracking and capturing cyber criminals. This was further elaborated on during the Q&A session where Strauss emphasized the importance of rapid sharing of information.
Both speakers discussed the need for international cooperation in dealing with cyber terrorists while other concerns revolve around Advanced Persistent Threats (APT’s). General Sundseth expressed that the real threat is from nation states as they are the ones with the resources and patients to carry out these attacks. Strauss added that due to the complexity of these attacks, the human source still remains an important method for gathering information.
Espionage is a substantial priority for the FBI as well as identifying threats to critical infrastructure that can be compromised remotely. Therefore, they work to track down threats in communication. The FBI also places an emphasis on organized crime with in the cyber arena as their operations are becoming more sophisticated and prevalent.
“Nothing is 100% secure,” remarked the General. Norway’s objective is to maintain operations over time. “When someone gets in, the main resources are in responsible action; surveillance and bringing it back to normal,” stated Sundseth while emphasizing the importance of internal and international collaboration in a connected world.