Highly Digitalized Norway Finds Itself Exposed to Cyber Warfare

DATE: 22/12/2016

Cyber-attacks are on the increase worldwide. Norway, as one of the world's most digitized countries, is therefore particularly vulnerable, something largely overlooked by both Norwegian politicians and business leaders, Norwegian researchers maintain.

Akin to how the advent of aviation changed the world in the early 1900s, ever-changing information technology is changing the world today. With cyber threats rising across the globe, Norway is among the likely targets being one of the world's most digitalized nations, researchers Niels Nagelhus Schia and Lilly Pijenburg Muller of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) wrote in an opinion piece for Norwegian national broadcaster NRK.

Remarkably, cyber-attacks are not only directed against states, but against also private companies as well. In 2014, a German steelworks sustained extensive damage when hackers took control of software related to production operations.

Cyber warfare is therefore widely acknowledged as "the perfect weapon," which is cheap, difficult to predict, trace and detect. Increased aggression through cyberspace is an emerging geopolitical risk recognized by NATO, of which Norway is part. Earlier this year, NATO defined cyberspace as an independent defense domain, in the same way as land, sea and air. Earlier this year, French Defense Minister Jean Yves Le Drian compared the importance of cyber-attacks with the role of aircraft in First and Second World War, when he launched a new department for prevention of cyber warfare.



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