Nordic SMEs Enjoy Hygge Amidst Global Cybersecurity Threat

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The Northern European countries, namely Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, and the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland, have many secrets to a happy life that they share with the world.

In the business scenario, Spotify, as per Crunchbase, raised a total of $2.6B in funding over 19 rounds. Swedish financial technology company iZettle sold to PayPal for $2.2 billion, and the Endomondo Sports Tracker app bags $800,000 in its first round from SEED Capital. Needless to accentuate Sweden as the hotbed for entrepreneurial ventures proportionate to cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

In March 2020, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway also offered businesses big or small, at least 100 billion Norwegian crowns ($9.7 billion) as guarantees for loans and bonds to support the economy during the coronavirus outbreak. But the speculation is about the percentage of that funding disinvested in strengthening cybersecurity measures for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). 

And yet, despite all the sonority of the technology startup sector in the Nordics, the Danish Business Authority has identified grave concerns with the region’s cybersecurity. Businesses dread the aspect of cost and, as surveyed by YouGov, overestimate existing cybersecurity practices.

According to DBA, as many as 30% of SMEs in Denmark remain “acutely vulnerable” to malicious malware attacks. SMEs shelve or delay measures needed to strengthen their IT security systems because of the cost of IT security implementation. 

The YouGov survey findings have prompted NorSIS to intensify their efforts and collaborate with the private and state sector firms to raise awareness around cybersecurity mafias, their debilitating demands, and the ruining of a business’s potential long-term competitive edge in the Norwegian economy.

Responding to the YouGov survey, the Director-General at NorSIS’s, Peggy Heie, states that Norwegian companies are much complacent about cybersecurity or the possibilities of sophisticated ransomware attacks. She expects business leaders to take due responsibility in averting cybersecurity concerns hand-in-hand with partners and state authorities. 

Heie further states that firms must also ensure that their employees’ digital competence is strengthened. NorSIS has undertaken regular cyber threat audits and technical appraisals to encourage Norwegian SMEs to build preemptive IT security measures. 

In October, the DBA launched a co-venture with the Danish Industry Foundation targeting Nordic SMEs to assess their IT security systems and data networks professionally. The partnership serves Nordic SMEs with state capital or technical support to part-finance and implements IT security assistance. During Covid-19, this partnership is hope for businesses without absolute control over their remote operations. 

The notorious LockerGoga malware doesn’t require a network connection or a command and control server like other ransomware strains. Only a handful of anti-malware products can detect and neutralize the LockerGoga, which comes at a cost. It is this cost that Nordic SMEs should be ready to feed than the hefty ransomware packages targetting the industrial and manufacturing sector traded on the dark web and our staple Internet. 

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