Who holds the keys to your network?
The doors to today’s IT systems and networks are protected with advanced locks, such as firewalls and other cybersecurity solutions. These locked doors and a high degree of encryption are used to protect European companies, citizens and critical infrastructure.
In recent years, we have seen debates about the origin and reliability of networks and cybersecurity providers. Is there reason to be worried? Who holds the keys to your doors?
Regulatory bodies in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, Australia, and others have banned Chinese Huawei as a supplier for 5G networks, and in many European countries the authorities have opted out of cloud services from the USA, such as Microsoft Teams.
The intention of implementing backdoors in network and cybersecurity products is also well-documented. For example, in 2020, it was revealed that the United States had intercepted Swedish data traffic in Denmark in connection with Denmark’s procurement of combat aircrafts, where the Swedish SAAB’s JAS-39 Gripen was one of the candidates[i]. The deal went to the US F-35 aircraft. Perhaps no wonder Swedish and European companies and authorities think twice before choosing a supplier of cybersecurity products, the locks to their networks.
Digital sovereignty[ii] where the EU strives to become more independent in the field of digital technologies and services is not a new topic, but it has captured a lot of attention in recent times, especially given the current geo-political climate. Also, nations like the USA, China and the UK are looking at developing their long-term technology strategy as no elite nation would want to lose out on next-generation technologies around AI, robotics, cybersecurity and quantum computing. This is also particularly relevant for cybersecurity, where current infrastructure is mainly owned by commercial entities that largely fall outside EU jurisdiction. In October 2021, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) called upon the development of common EU cyber defense capabilities[iii]. A secure cyberspace is the basis for the EU’s digital sovereignty and a European ecosystem of cybersecurity skills and capabilities is crucial.
There is currently a lot going on with a specific emphasis on enhancing European cybersecurity capability. The EU Cybersecurity Strategy was published in late 2021 and focuses on three main priorities – regulatory, investment and policy initiatives. It sets a long-term approach to achieve secure digitisation. There are also other connected initiatives around European cybersecurity certification and research investment being developed by Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, and the European Defence Fund. Organisations like ENISA and ECSO are working proactively to connect European cybersecurity vendors and build a European ecosystem. After all, cybersecurity is a team game! A pan-European approach to cybersecurity means formalising the exchange of knowledge between institutions, security authorities, academia, and industry.
Europe is self-reliant in terms of developing our own combat aircrafts and submarines to build and maintain competence in cutting-edge technology. The United States, China and Russia all do the same. Cyber security is the new cutting-edge technology for a digitised world and this that also requires a strong independent cybersecurity industry to be able to reliably protect our companies, authorities and societal functions. It is time for Europe to choose not to be behind – but instead invest in a future independent – digitally sovereign alliance of nation states.
We at Clavister can proudly say that we have been playing our part. Founded in Sweden in 1997, we produced one of the earliest firewalls for the European markets and we have continued to evolve since. A Swedish supplier with no state or laws that require backdoors in its products. We primarily work with the government & public sectors, telecommunications, service providers and defense customers across Europe. Our military-grade network security solutions are highly trusted, helped by fact that we provide Cybersecurity, Made in Europe. Protect your digital world with locally produced cybersecurity!