Finland Enhances International Collaboration in Cyber Operations

The development of information technology and the digitalization of society have transformed the threat landscape, particularly in the domain of cyberspace. With the increasing number of cyber threats and international developments in the cyber operating environment, the significance of international cooperation has become even more pronounced. Finland recently strengthened its multinational collaboration in cyber operations during a planning and exercise event held from September 11 to 15, 2023. The event brought together experts from Finland, Sweden, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

For a knowledge-based society like Finland, a cyberattack can pose substantial risks to critical infrastructure, including transportation, electricity, and healthcare systems. Cybersecurity plays a pivotal role in overall national security. The cyber operating environment is an integral part of the military operational environment, and the Finnish Defense Forces have prepared to respond to cyber threats. Recently, cyber defense was practiced during a local defense exercise by the Jaeger Brigade, where the concept of local cyber defense, the operating principles of local cyber teams, techniques, and the interaction between different actors were put to the test.

While cyberattacks may have local consequences, the cyber operating environment is global, and international cooperation is essential. Continuous multinational cooperation enables regular information exchange, the sharing of best practices, and harmonization of approaches.

During the cyber operations planning and exercise event hosted by Finland, cooperation was developed jointly with international partners and allies. Over the course of the week, a scenario was practiced where cyber forces collectively planned and executed an extensive defensive cyber operation. The event’s objectives were successfully achieved.

Colonel Lieutenant Jussi Tuovinen from the Leadership Systems Department at the Finnish Defense Forces Headquarters, who led the event, emphasized the longstanding cooperation between their country and its partners in the field of cyber defense. NATO membership further strengthens this collaboration. He noted that their collective expertise is of a high standard, and they are prepared to operate effectively in demanding scenarios. Active training is crucial for maintaining this readiness.

The event hosted in Finland builds on a previous, more technically focused event held in Ramstein, Germany, from February 6 to 10, 2023. The recent exercise expanded the scope to a larger tactical-operational view of cyber defense planning and execution, emphasizing the importance of effective cooperation at all levels.

Finland’s commitment to international collaboration in cyber operations highlights the nation’s dedication to addressing cyber threats and ensuring the resilience of critical infrastructure in the interconnected world of today.

Keywords: Cyber Operations, International Cooperation, Cybersecurity, Critical Infrastructure, Defense

Source: Finnish Defense Forces