The Norwegian Police Security Services (PST) reported in their threat assessment from January this year: “Norwegian defense and emergency services, state administration, research and development, as well as critical infrastructure are considered to be particularly vulnerable intelligence targets.”
Norway with its location, its alliances and technological level is a much-sought target for foreign intelligence services. We have students, employees and collaborators from countries that receive special attention from PST; one of them is one of our closest neighbors. Some countries instruct their residents to report home when they are in Norway. It is therefore likely that mapping of infrastructure, activities and persons at UiB could inadvertently be a means of further mapping and obtaining desired information.
What does this mean for K2 employees? We must have a constant focus on security. That means looking after your ID-card, do not let in people you do not know just because they happen to be at the door. See to that you have a good and long password (preferably at least 15 characters) and look after your mobile and pc during travels, especially to risk countries like China, Russia and Iran. Many have sensitive information stored on their PCs and USB sticks. Furthermore, be sufficiently suspicious of emails with unusual content and links and test links by placing the mouse over it to see you are not sent to strange and unknown server.
October is the security awareness month at UiB and more information about safety and measures will soon be distributed. This includes e-learning for all employees on IT security. The course will be sent from Xtramile on 2 October. There will also be focus on use and care of your ID-card. Remember that it is personal and must be worn visible at all times.
Travel will also be a focus area, and you can find detailed travelling advise at Sikresiden.no (uib.no/sikresiden). UiB is launching a loan service for PCs and mobiles to employees travelling to risk countries. You can read more about the October security month on UiB’s pages, but remember that focus on security do not apply only to October..
With a wish for a safe weekend
Acting Head of Department