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Sweden steps up cyber efforts

19th January 2022 - 17:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Sweden operates a Cyber Defence Unit but it is keen to augment its capabilities. (Photo: Swedish MoD)

Sweden is preparing to wage cyber war as well as cyber defence.

The Swedish military is setting up new cyber units called ITF and 2ITF, not only to protect against intrusions and attacks on armed forces networks but also to wage ‘armed combat in the cyber arena’, according to Swedish Army programme manager Lt Col Johan Nyström.

Recruitment is underway with a view to fully staff ITF and 2ITF by 2027.

‘The new unit will significantly increase the Armed Forces' robustness and capacity for defensive and offensive cyber operations,’ Nyström added in a 12 January statement on the Swedish MoD website.

ITF units will be based in Linköping, which is also home to the Swedish defence research organisation FOI.

Amid growing concerns in Sweden over grey zone warfare, parliament passed the Total Defence Bill in December 2020 that included investment in strengthening military cyber capabilities by 2025.

Measures are in place to establish a military training facility for cyber defence education, training and exercises.

A national cyber security centre is also planned — but for the time being there is only a single unit dedicated to cyber protection: the Cyber Defence Unit, which is responsible for defending Swedish IT and C2 infrastructure against cyber attacks.

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