The Norwegian National Security Authority (Nasjonal sikkerhetsmyndighet, NSM) plans to visit seven Norwegian cities next month to strengthen their computer security. Norway, the authorities claim, is “a tempting goal for data- and industrial espionage,” and computer systems, they fear, are still too vulnerable.
“Many Norwegian operations are targets of hacking attempts every day,” NSM wrote in a press release issued on Wednesday. “It’s still too easy to break into computer programs that aren’t updated, or because sensitive information is too easily accessible.”
NSM has designated October as “National Security Month,” and will be sending its own experts to Tromsø, Bodø, Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Oslo to host seminars (external link, in Norwegian) aimed at improving computer security both regionally and in the capital.
The seminars arranged by NSM, whose official stated purpose is “to counter threats to independence and security of the realm,” will address issues such as security culture, online habits, how to secure mobile telephones and securing information through encryption.
NSM’s targets are companies, state and municipal operations, organizations, academic circles and “normal folks with an interest in information technology and information security.”
NSM director Kjetil Nilsen said that Norway has become an attractive target for economic crime, espionage carried out by foreign powers and so-called “hackers who want to show off.” He said there was a doubling of the number of breaches and attempted breaches of computer systems in the country last year.
He said officials at NSM, charged with fending off espionage, sabotage and acts of terrorism, thus feel it’s “more important than ever to secure our assets and values.”