Cyber-Crime – Staying Resilient in Uncertain Times

Session Insights
Written by Liam McGlynn and Amelia Donovan

Jan Olsson

Police Superintendent

Swedish CyberCrime Center


It is no secret that organisations across the globe are routinely confronted with a vast array of sophisticated cyber-threats and attacks. However, with cyber-attack occurrences increasing at an alarming rate and as the rapid evolution of novel cyber-threats persists, organisations are starting to look at cybersecurity through a new lens of severity.

One study analysing 1,200 large organisations across 16 countries reveals that the number of material breaches rose 20.5% from 2020 to 2021, and cybersecurity budgets as a percentage of firms’ total revenue jumped 51%. Undeniably, as cybersecurity reaches a critical inflection point, CIOs and CISOs must enhance their understanding of cybercrime and its recent evolution. 

At one of the most popular sessions of the Nordic CIO & CISO Executive Summit – entitled ‘Cyber-Crime – Staying Resilient in Uncertain Times’ – CIOs and CISOs from within this community came together to hear from Jan Olsson, Police Superintendent of the Swedish CyberCrime Center. With thirty years’ experience in the Swedish Police – the last four specialising in cyber-crime – Olsson shared his expertise and thoughts on recent attack attempts and the importance of prevention plans. 

His key insights provide an invaluable resource for CIOs and CISOs aiming to effectively defend their organisations against this ever-evolving threat landscape. 

How have cyber-crimes evolved in recent years?

Olsson explains, “Digitisation is increasing year after year, and the number of computers and internet accesses per inhabitant is exploding. Therefore, the number of vulnerable people and access points is increasing.” 

“As the economic benefits of complex cybercrime become greater, organised crime groups are becoming far more likely to engage in this type of crime,” he continues. “This, in combination with the fact that it has become easier to hide one’s identity and transactions and operate from countries with whom we do not exchange information, makes it more attractive as the risk of being arrested is extremely small.”

How have cyber-crime prevention plans adapted to this evolution?

“Both internationally and nationally, the importance of Private-Public-Partnership (P3) is highlighted because the police themselves cannot solve the situation. As such, cross-border cooperation is required not only between police authorities, but with all other sectors of society,” Olsson says. 

“The issue of enabling these crimes is increasingly raised in media and political agendas, enabling legislation to be adapted (albeit, slowly) to digitalisation. Additionally, major efforts are being made to make the public, companies, and organisations more aware of the danger we all live in and what we must do to protect ourselves. One answer is the construction of National Cyber Security Centers (NCSC) in all countries. While this does not solve everything, it is certainly a step in the right direction,” he shares.

What key geopolitical factors influence cybersecurity measures in both public and private sector organisations?

“There are a lot. The coronavirus pandemic meant that huge numbers of employees started working from home, outside the company's safe zone, and in an environment that is definitely far less secure. This places greater demands on the employer to ensure the workplace in the home is safe enough, and also on the employees themselves,” Olsson explains.

“When a major catastrophe occurs, criminals either use the catastrophe as a door opener in fraud scenarios or, as in this case, attack hospitals and research companies with ransomware – the possibility of a successful attack to obtain large ransoms is very likely. The Ukraine crisis also affects us as a geopolitical factor regarding cyber-attacks,” he adds. 

If you have a story you would like to share, please contact Amelia Donovan, Content Manager You can share your perspective with the community via our in-person and virtual gatherings such as our Executive Summits, Virtual Town Halls, Virtual Boardrooms, and also through content pieces like this.

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Content adapted from the Nordic CIO & CISO Executive Summt. Special thanks to Jan Olsson and Swedish CyberCrime Center.

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