“The north remembers” - Is history repeating itself?
Toy soldiers fighting
In history, the terms “cause and effect” are often used, and by finding out the causes of an event, we can then find out the consequences of that event. In these times of hybrid war - is history repeating itself? What will be the consequences of this war be for the world in general, and Sweden in particular?
Nothing is no longer impossible
February the 24th was a strange day in our modern-day history. Suddenly news about Covid19 had to leave room for reports of a war, here, in Europe! The situation regarding Russia and Ukraine had long been troubled, and experts had long feared the worst. If this had been before the corona pandemic, some may have said something like this simply could not happen, there would be no new war in Europe, no war so close to Sweden. But after the Covid19 pandemic, an event few had imagined even possible and consequences even fewer had expected, suddenly it feels like anything can happen. Nothing is no longer impossible – and not in a good way.
Nothing is no longer impossible – and not in a good way.
Here we go again
A little over one month has now passed since the war in Ukraine was initiated by Russia. A meaningless act in the opinion of many. In Sweden there’s been peace since the year 1814. That’s over 200 years of peaceful living (more or less) in harmony with our fellow neighbors in Europe, 200 years of developing trade and constructing businesses, building communities and growing relations. However, during this time Sweden has felt the effects of ongoing wars, not least during the first and second World war and the Cold war that followed. Relations between Sweden and the Soviet Union were at times “frosty” to say the least during the Cold War. Sweden therefore invested large sums of money during this period to building up a defense against invasion, and the main enemy was the Soviet Union. Here we go again, many years later. Investing money on building a strong defense against the same enemy with a new name: Russia. This time around, however, the war is not fought only with guns, tanks and soldiers in the field – there is a hybrid war going on, and the arena is as much physical as digital.
The Swedish IT ecosystem
Reports are now coming in that assesses the impact for the Swedish “IT ecosystem” due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Radar
, a company that provides local fact-based insight in the Nordic region, delivers assessments regarding the IT situation, and their latest report
on Geopolitical IT Impact Assessment due to Russia's Invasion of Ukraine contributes to both an interesting and frightening reading (Geopolitisk IT-konsekvensanalys #3: Rysslands invasion av Ukraina., March 2022)
. By analyzing external events that may affect the IT situation in Sweden, these insights can help prevent emergencies, and it also gives the opportunity to take the wheel, so to speak, and steer fully aware of the facts about the current situation. This may aid in making plans for organizations and help prioritize in decision making. By planning ahead and keeping well informed one can strengthen one’s ability and efficiency, doing “business as usual” even in the hardest of times.
Predictions of the nearest future
If the current situation in the western world continues to deteriorate, cyber-attacks on the Swedish government, Swedish organizations and companies are to be expected. Radar (Geopolitisk IT-konsekvensanalys #3: Rysslands invasion av Ukraina., March 2022)
encourages Swedish organizations to urgently increase their IT budget (to 5.6% to be exact) budget in initiative-taking cyber security investments. To think and act ahead is the key here! And that mindset goes not only for the Swedish government and Swedish organizations, but globally and for everyone.
To think and act ahead is the key here!
The use of IT will increase in 2022, but maybe not as strong as some may have thought. This may lead to companies re-prioritizing:
• Long term projects with uncertain values later may instead leave room for shorter projects with value here and now.
• Increased investments in infrastructure and robustness primarily.
• Increased investments in cyber security are highly recommended.
• Slowdown in IT and technology-driven R&D investments.
The current situation in our world makes it highly likely that the next step in this hybrid war is an increase in cyber-attacks on Swedish (and likely also global) interests. This according to the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Security Police, and lately decisions have been made to increase the Swedish defense budget in 2022.
“The north remembers”
Yes, “the north remembers”. The quote is a saying from the famous TV-series “Game of Thrones” - but this time it is not fiction - this is real life. As adult citizens of Sweden and the world, we have an obligation to remember, to keep history from repeating itself - at all times. Let us remember that we’ve been here before. We’ve seen war before, been threatened before, and let us learn from that. Let us remember that this is war, and in war there are always innocent victims. Let us remember, and let us act - before it's too late
Radar. 2022. Geopolitisk IT-konsekvensanalys #3: Rysslands invasion av Ukraina.