Finnish Security Intelligence Service

07/19/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/19/2018 07:44

Supo at Suomi Areena: Threats of the future are in the virtual world

On 19 July 2018 Supo attended the Suomi Areena public debate forum organised in the city of Pori. The debate focused on the threats of the future. Supo gave two expert presentations with a medium-term perspective (year 2024).

Future of terrorism

Senior analyst of Supo, Saana Nilsson, adressed the future of terrorism. According to her assessment, the future terrorist is 'an innovative digital native' who networks and also operates in the virtual world.

- Increasingly dangerous networks and mentors guide young people vulnerable to radical ideology who act in the virtual world exploiting its opportunities in a new way. It is essential that authorities adopt a holistic approach to the phenomenon and move their counterefforts into the world the young people live in. Authorities must act in an innovative way, says Nilsson in her presentation.

Espionage and influencing

SUPO analyst Pekka Iivari spoke about the future of influencing and espionage. Recent discussions on influencing have referred to Russian influence operations in particular.

- Different information operations conducted on the Internet, as well as cyberespionage, have become part of the threat scenarios during this decade. Over the next decade, operations taking place in cyberspace will play an increasingly strategic role. It is important to identify the phenomenon, expose the underlying structures and aims, and maintain open discussion. The success of influence operations conducted by foreign powers depends greatly on us ourselves, the effectiveness and credibility of our countermeasures, and the extent to which we wish to be influenced, argues Iivari in his presentation.