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Joint forces for a cyber campus

Cyberattacks are posing an increasing threat

Published Nov 29, 2022

There is a significant skills shortage in the cyber security area in Sweden. This has led Pontus Johnson, professor at KTH’s Center for Cyber Defense and Information Security, to push for a new cyber campus with several actors, including the Swedish Armed Forces.

”Current research, education and innovation within cyber security are carried out at various universities, colleges and in small groups, but usually with no interaction between them. We need to offer a more comprehensive education. For example, KTH has extensive training in the area of ​​cyber security but lacks expertise in the area of ​​forensics. This is something Halmstad University has focused on,” he says.

For Sweden to offer students a more extensive and overarching education, collaboration is required.

In October this year, the Royal Academy of Engineering presented a report, Cybersecurity for increased competitiveness , with nine ways to increase Sweden's cyber security and thereby increase its competitiveness. One of the proposals is establishing a cyber campus to boost research, innovation and capacity building.

As for the latter, strong efforts are needed, according to Pontus Johnsson.

”We need to become more agile around lifelong learning. As I see it, there is a skills shortage ranging from technical competence to managerial competence. Even decision-makers need to gain better knowledge about the cyber threats and security that needs to be developed.”

High on the political agenda

Things might be moving in the right direction. Cyber security is currently high on the political agenda, with an increasing acknowledgement that cyberattacks posing a serious threat. Already in 2021, the Swedish Riksbank warned that a cyber-attack can threaten financial stability . There is increasing political consensus for the need for a cyber campus. And the Minister of Defense, Pål Jonson (M), seems to be prepared to finance it .

”Our hope is to start already next year; cyber attacks, cyber threats and cyber security are issues that will not disappear, but rather grow in importance. A research infrastructure with practice facilities is needed. Sweden has a technical debt, and we need to catch up.”