Sign In
Information about science based innovations, solid facts to support decision-making, performance and business development for VTT’s partners, customers and anyone interested in high technology and its applications.
A magazine on science, technology and business

Cyber security requires more than just technological competences

Juha-Pekka Honkanen | 16.6.2016

​While attacks on information networks are becoming more common, the proliferation of such networks is posing cyber security challenges of its own.

In a research project completed in January, VTT and Cyberlab Ltd explored the level of Finnish cyber security expertise and the related short-term needs. VTT Research Scientist Anna Leinonen notes that it is easier to bring society grinding to a halt than before, due to its greater dependence on technology.

“We refer to this as hybrid warfare. The global situation and relations between the major powers have reached the stage where we can expect instability to increase,” she says.

Leinonen and her colleagues do not engage in predicting future technology trends – their work has a broader, social and societal focus. They chose stakeholder workshops as their research method; in these, representatives of the business community, research sector and public administration examined the future within their own reference groups.

“The importance of leadership skills was one of the interesting issues raised in the business community workshop. Managers are not necessarily aware of the pressure points in cyber security. On the other hand, the critical nature of civic awareness and orientation in information security was raised,” Leinonen recalls.

Security requir​​es able management

This means that cyber security requires a critical attitude and knowledge in support of decision-making. Senior Scientist Antti Pelkonen points out that the report highlighted the importance of a vision that extends beyond technical expertise. As digitalisation progresses, the need for cyber security is becoming more pervasive in society.

“Strategic management and leadership of cyber security, as well as the related legal and financial expertise, are needed,” he states.

The companies gave a clear signal that talent is in short supply. Pelkonen notes that six out of ten of the company representatives said that there was a shortage of talent.

Companies and public sector actors had already been experiencing problems in recruiting, which shows that a skills shortage is already with us.”

Pelkonen refers to F-Secure as the best known Finnish pioneer in this area. He adds that mobile information security expertise can be found in both the private and research sectors, particularly Nokia. He regards cryptology expertise as being at a very high level in the research sector, but notes that it is dependent on just a few researchers.

“In Finland, the research side has been growing strongly but within narrow areas at the highest level, which are often dependent on individual researchers or research groups.”

On the other hand, Pelkonen notes that a relatively large number of people are employed by cyber security companies in Finland. These include successful growth companies with clear strengths. Pelkonen believes that cyber security involves a commercial and economic dimension, as well as public safety.

“This is a fast-growing sector internationally, in which Finnish companies have many opportunities,” says Pelkonen.​

Top expertise resting on just a few shoulders

World-class research in the sector is often limited in scope and the overall volume remains relatively small. Pelkonen calculates that Finland has around a dozen or so professors specialising in cyber security.

However, research is being conducted on a broader scale in practice.

en.

ed.

“As cloud services become more common, ensuring the protection of privacy could become problematic and the intelligence of products based on IoT solutions is so low that they may have no spare capacity for the implementation of information security.”

Finland has skill gaps as well as high cyber skills. We know how to develop technologies, but not how to sell or buy them.

“The management side is affected by a lack of understanding of the risks involved, while the skills gap in the public sector lies in procurement. Technical expertise is also needed in purchasing, so that rational objectives are drawn up when planning the tendering stage,” says Leinonen.

Leinonen points out that the innovative purchasing principle should be applied in cyber security tendering processes.

“This would also provide references for companies. However, buyers will need certain skills when formulating calls for tenders, which include the idea of developing something new as well as just buying something.”

Pelkonen calls for a type of cyber security leadership which dovetails a diversified strategy with multi-disciplinary skills. However, Leinonen observes that the roots of multi-disciplinary skills lie in familiar ground. She points out that a blend of mathematical and technological expertise forms the basis of the business sector in Finland.

“We need to secure such expertise if we want to succeed in the sector. Technological know-how has been traditionally strong in Finland, but it could rapidly disappear if education is starved of resources,” Pelkonen says.

 

 

VTT Impulsehttps://www.vttresearch.com/ImpulseVTT Impulse
Business developmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Business-development.aspxBusiness development
Health and wellbeinghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Health-and-wellbeing.aspxHealth and wellbeing
Smart Citieshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Smart-Cities.aspxSmart Cities
A birthday gift from us to ourselveshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-birthday-gift-from-us-to-ourselves.aspxA birthday gift from us to ourselves
Could smartglasses replace smartphones? VTT spin-off Dispelix to commercialise a virtual display for glasseshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Could-smartglasses-replace-smartphones-VTT-spin-off-Dispelix-to-commercialise-a-virtual-display-for-glasses.aspxCould smartglasses replace smartphones? VTT spin-off Dispelix to commercialise a virtual display for glasses
Tua Huomo: Energy production and use – smart choices have an impacthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Energy-production-and-use–smart-choices-an-impact.aspxTua Huomo: Energy production and use – smart choices have an impact
LEO brings intelligence to cylindershttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/LEO-brings-intelligence-to-cylinders.aspxLEO brings intelligence to cylinders
S Group believes in a multi-channel modelhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/S-Group-believes-in-a-multi-channel-model.aspxS Group believes in a multi-channel model
Demand for energy storage is growing rapidlyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Demand-for-energy-storage-is-growing-rapidly.aspxDemand for energy storage is growing rapidly
Finland is good investmenthttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finland-is-good-investment.aspxFinland is good investment
Towards carbon-neutral materialshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Towards-carbon-neutral-materials.aspxTowards carbon-neutral materials
What and how will people eat in the future?https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/What-and-how-will-people-eat-in-the-future.aspxWhat and how will people eat in the future?
Recycling of critical metalshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Recycling-of-critical-metals.aspxRecycling of critical metals
At the digital forefront of mininghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/At-the-digital-forefront-of-mining.aspxAt the digital forefront of mining
Smart industryhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Smart-industry.aspxSmart industry
Automation gives packages wingshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Automation-gives-packages-wings.aspxAutomation gives packages wings
A machine is more humanehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-machine-is-more-humane.aspxA machine is more humane
New power for the electronics industryhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/New-power-for-the-electronics-industry.aspxNew power for the electronics industry
Sensor of tomorrowhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Sensor-of-tomorrow.aspxSensor of tomorrow
Bioeconomy and circular economyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Bioeconomy-and-circular-economy.aspxBioeconomy and circular economy
Digital societyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Digital-society.aspxDigital society
Low carbon energyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Low-carbon-energy.aspxLow carbon energy
Finland provides community housing solutions for Namibiahttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finland-provides-community-housing-solutions-for-Namibia.aspxFinland provides community housing solutions for Namibia
Towards patient-centred, personalised healthcarehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Towards-patient-centred-personalised-healthcare.aspxTowards patient-centred, personalised healthcare
IPR first to international marketshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/IPR-first-to-international-markets.aspxIPR first to international markets
Intelligence for machineshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Intelligence-for-machines.aspxIntelligence for machines
Three-dimensional virtual reality and augmented reality – Towards new worldshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Three-dimensional-virtual-reality-and-augmented-reality-Towards-new-worlds.aspxThree-dimensional virtual reality and augmented reality – Towards new worlds
World in 2030 - answers to tomorrow’s questionshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/World-in-2030-answers-to-tomorrows-questions.aspxWorld in 2030 - answers to tomorrow’s questions
From a fishing port to a model district for smart energyhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/From-a-fishing-port-to-a-model-district-for-smart-energy.aspxFrom a fishing port to a model district for smart energy
Using nuclear power to mitigate climate changehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Using-nuclear-power-to-mitigate-climate-change.aspxUsing nuclear power to mitigate climate change
The rise of robotic carshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-rise-of-robotic-cars.aspxThe rise of robotic cars
Pilot plants forge innovative ideas into business activitieshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Pilot-plants-forge-innovative-ideas-into-business-activities.aspxPilot plants forge innovative ideas into business activities
All sights on generationhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/All-sights-on-generation.aspxAll sights on generation
Towards bioeconomy with the power of woodhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Towards-bioeconomy-with-the-power-of-wood.aspxTowards bioeconomy with the power of wood
Combinostics: Faster diagnoses with artificial intelligencehttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Combinostics-Faster-diagnoses-with-artificial-intelligence.aspxCombinostics: Faster diagnoses with artificial intelligence
Cell screening leads to new cancer treatmentshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Cell-screening-leads-to-new-cancer-treatments.aspxCell screening leads to new cancer treatments
From ideas to major innovationshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/From-drawing-board-to-major-innovation.aspxFrom ideas to major innovations
The story of Finlandhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-story-of-Finland.aspxThe story of Finland
Technology enables good urban livinghttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Technology-enables-good-urban-living.aspxTechnology enables good urban living
Matti Apunen: At the core of the solutionhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/At-the-core-of-the-solution.aspxMatti Apunen: At the core of the solution
A future without wastewater?https://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/A-future-without-wastewater.aspxA future without wastewater?
Finnish fuel cell technology aims for the worldhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Finnish-fuel-cell-technology-aims-for-the-world.aspxFinnish fuel cell technology aims for the world
Intelligent transport – a trump card for Finnish exportshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Intelligent-transport-a-trump-card-for-Finnish-exports.aspxIntelligent transport – a trump card for Finnish exports
Passion spurs researchhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/passion-spurs-research.aspxPassion spurs research
Converting rags to design clotheshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Converting-rags-to-design-clothes.aspxConverting rags to design clothes
Transition in the shipping industry: intelligent ship´s bridgeshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Intelligent-ship-bridges.aspxTransition in the shipping industry: intelligent ship´s bridges
For Industry powers Finnish manufacturing industryhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/For-Industry-powers-Finnish-manufacturing-industry.aspxFor Industry powers Finnish manufacturing industry
The perfect pilot environment for Arctic solutionshttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/The-perfect-pilot-environment-for-Arctic-solutions.aspxThe perfect pilot environment for Arctic solutions
Quantum standards for the new SI systemhttps://www.vttresearch.com/Impulse/Pages/Quantum-standards-for-the-new-SI-system.aspxQuantum standards for the new SI system