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Norwegian Cyber Security

Norwegian Cyber Security

NorSIS urges Norwegians to boost their cyber security awareness.
Norway ranked 4th in preparedness for the new digital economy by the World Economic Forum in 2016, and is indeed one of the most digitised countries in the world today. But for Norwegians to reap the rewards of being highly digitised and connected, safety needs to be a priority. “99% of Norwegians are online, but just 6 out of 10 feel capable of judging what is safe to do online. Cyber-crime costs the country approximately 19Bn NKR annually”, announced Roger Johnsen, the CEO at the Norwegian Centre for Information Security (NorSIS) in 2016.
If almost everyone in Norway is online, that means almost all Norwegians are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. “We need to do more to safeguard and protect our national ability to freely utilise the tremendous power that lies in digitalisation, technology research, and development” –states the NorSIS 2016 report ‘The Norwegian Cyber Security Culture’, a project managed by Bjarte Malmedal.
NorSIS analysed the responses of 8193 individuals from a variety of Norwegian companies, organisations, sectors, and demographics, to assess what role the national cyber security culture play in the digitalisation of the public and private sectors. The goal: to understand how Norwegians relate to the digital transformations taking place around them in order to optimise its potential for development.
In anthropological fashion, the study starts by analysing the term ‘cyber security culture’ – a concept developed and applied within a business-oriented context, therefore not easily applicable to Norway as a nation. So a comprehensive approach is proposed: an assessment of the different perspectives towards technology, NorSIS believes, can help measure their most prevalent attitudes towards cyber security. For example, instead of noting how many employees opened phishing emails that year, NorSIS asks what sets of values, beliefs and priorities are leading employees to open such emails in the first place.
“Citizens aren’t aware of how their cyber security neglect affects the resilience of the entire national digital infrastructure. The future national cyber security culture should build a wider knowledge of cyber-immunology. The overall resilience will be significantly dependent on the actions of the individuals, much like vaccine theory in medicine.” Cyber security education should become much more widely spread, available, useful and relatable for individuals in their private lives, concludes the report.
“Today, it is safe to say that cyber security culture is relevant to nearly every one of us, given the degree to which our societies are increasingly digitised. We write on computers, have our eyes fixed on our smart-phones, and buy our groceries and clothes online, while we pay our taxes through the government’s website.” Considering how much and how often we rely on the digital world, cyber security culture should not be a concern only of businesses and employees, but also of individuals within their private lives. More importantly: it should be seen as a shared societal responsibility.
NorSIS is currently finalising a 2018 study supported by current CEO Peggy Sandbekken Heie. Bjarte, the Project Manager, has disclosed one of their key findings so far: “citizens perceive cyber risks as being higher in 2018, particularly those associated with online banking and the use of online governmental services. There have been increasing efforts but little progress regarding the spread of cyber security culture awareness and training across the population.”

This article was produced in anticipation of NordX, the inaugural Cyber Security Summit for the Nordic Region. A 25% discount on Conference Passes is being offered as a partnership special in honour of NorSIS- use code NORSIS25 upon registration to claim yours at: https://cyberseries.io/nordx/
Article written by Paula Magal, Copywriter at Qatalyst Global, in partnership with Bjarte Malmedal, Project Manager & Senior Cyber Security Advisor at NorSIS.
Stay tuned for NorSIS 2018 report, to be released at https://norsis.no/english/

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