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The Danish government steps up efforts against cyber threats

13-10-2017 News UK

A new national strategy for cyber and information security and an extra DKK 100 million are to strengthen Denmark’s ability to fight computer crime and combat hacker attacks.

Denmark is one of the most digitised countries in the world. Citizens, businesses, and the public sector benefit from the fact that we in Denmark are extremely adept at using the opportunities offered by digital technology. But it also means that we are vulnerable to, for example, hacker attacks and cyber crime that can paralyse vital societal functions.

For the same reason, it is essential that our ICT security is robust and fit for purpose, and that we constantly adapt ourselves to changing developments in the threat landscape. Cyber and information security are therefore a high priority of the Danish government, which has decided to further strengthen efforts in this area. This is to be achieved partly by earmarking DKK 100 million for a new national strategy for cyber and information security.

“Denmark is a digital frontrunner, and we must remain so. But it is vital that the continued digitisation and particularly the trust of citizens that we keep our ICT security in check and up to date, so that we are optimally equipped to combat the threat posed by, among others, computer criminals. And the large-scale hacker attacks over the last few months have shown the necessity of strengthening our efforts. Consequently, we will set aside an extra DKK 100 million to the work on developing a new strategy for cyber and information security”, said Ms. Sophie Løhde, Minister for Public Sector Innovation.

The efforts to fight computer crime must be prioritised across all sections of society and across both the public and the private sectors. The work on the coming strategy will therefore involve a large number of ministries as well as private organisations.

“Cyber threats pose one of the greatest threats of our time and have both security policy and socioeconomic implications for Denmark. Serious cyber attacks could paralyse key societal functions such as hospitals and electricity supply. It is therefore essential that we constantly address these threats and improve security. The coming strategy for cyber and information security is an important element of this work. Here the government will further strengthen the strategy by providing more funds, more time and stronger coordination”, said Mr. Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Minister for Defence.

To ensure greater coordination of the efforts across ministerial areas, the Ministry of Finance, as is the case in many other contexts, will assume responsibility for coordinating the work on preparing the new strategy.

“The task of preparing the strategy requires greater coordination across all areas, and it is therefore natural that the Ministry of Finance together with the Agency for Digitisation are assigned the lead role in this work. But it is important to say that the strategy is not just a matter for the Ministry of Finance. All public authorities have an independent responsibility to keep their ICT security in check and up to date, and therefore it is also a collective task that we are about to undertake”, says Ms. Sophie Løhde, Minister for Public Sector Innovation.

The cyber and information security strategy, which will be valid for the period 2018-2020, will be anchored in a cross-ministerial working group comprising representatives from 13 ministries.

The Ministry of Finance and Agency for Digitisation will chair the working group, which will be assisted by a secretariat comprising the Agency for Digitisation; the Centre for Cyber Security; the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs; Danish Business Authority; and the Danish Security and Intelligence Service.

The Government expects to present the strategy at the beginning of 2018.