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FRA starts cyber cooperation with the business community

The Super Secret Defense Radio Institute, FRA, gets a completely new role. From 1 July, telecom companies, electricity companies, banks and others are welcome to enlist the help of the agency’s cyber specialists.Published: 30 June 2022, 20:12At FRA’s facility at Drottningholm west of Stockholm, an unknown number of IT experts sit and monitor the traffic in the data cables that lead into Sweden from the outside world. Information on cyber attacks and information security issues has so far only been communicated to the defense, the security police, the police and certain other government agencies. But a few weeks ago, the government decided that the FRA should also open a channel to the business community. The rule change will take effect on Friday, July 1. “The change aims to maintain strong security protection for the most worthy of protection activities and in the long run increase the national ability to resist antagonistic cyber attacks,” the decision states.FRA’s new assignment has been created on the authority’s own initiative. ”There are cyber attacks against Swedish interests all the time, we see this in our work to follow the worst actors. Therefore, we have signaled to the government that we are happy to be involved and contribute to raising the general level of security “, says FRA’s communications manager Ola Billger. disruptions to infrastructure and advocacy operations. A list of special priority sectors has been produced. “Without revealing too much, these include electricity supply, electronic communications and financial companies,” Ola Billger continues. Other companies that handle sensitive information from a vulnerability point of view are also welcome to contact FRA . ”You can contact us via our website and then we look at it based on our order of priority, it’s about doing the right thing for Sweden. But it is important to emphasize that this is not something that can replace the companies’ own security work. ”Earlier this week, Di was able to reveal that a Russian hacker network operated from the company Glesys data hall in Västberga in southern Stockholm. Ola Billger does not want to comment on the individual case, but says that this type of company may also be covered by the new collaboration. “Telecommunications is a critical infrastructure that needs better support.” A concrete example of what the new collaboration can mean is that companies are given the opportunity to use FRA’s self-designed system TDV. The abbreviation stands for “technical detection and warning” and thanks to the system, even the most advanced IT attacks can be detected, which are not normally detected by commercial antivirus protection. “We can also do penetration tests where we hack into companies’ systems to see how far we will come and then give advice on how the vulnerabilities can be remedied “, says Ola Billger.Sweden is facing a parliamentary election at the same time as we are entering a military alliance. Could it mean an increased risk of cyber attacks?“Yes absolutely. But even the normal picture is serious enough and we must become better in general at protecting ourselves. In many places, security is taken extremely seriously, but it is not done in all places. Cyber ​​security must be a central task for every management team, it must not be something that is outsourced to a special IT manager. ”Several business representatives that Di spoke to take a positive view of the opportunities to collaborate with FRA. One of them is Tony Kylberg, Group Security Manager at SEB: “This is an extremely important step on the way to a safer Sweden. All parties have a lot to gain: companies, the country and the people. I also hope that we can help the authorities solve the whole puzzle, which in the long run helps ourselves. ”

Spearhead against cyber attacks

The Swedish Armed Forces’ radio station, FRA, is a civilian intelligence authority under the Ministry of Defense. Formed during the Second World War to conduct signal reconnaissance in the air and at sea against military targets. The mission has been gradually expanded in order to protect Sweden and provide a basis for the government’s foreign, security and defense policy. This includes monitoring internet traffic across national borders, detecting cyber threats and helping to protect socially important information systems. The number of employees amounts to approximately 1,000 people. Lasse Wierup

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