Telenor to conduct cyber emergency exercise

Press release
8 minute read
Telenor Norway is to conduct a comprehensive emergency exercise called CyberDawn. The National Security Authority, the Norwegian Cyber Force, and other entities will participate in the exercise scheduled for September 3rd and 4th - the same period during which the Norwegian Armed Forces 'Øvelse Hovedstad 2013' exercise will take place.
Telenor provides infrastructure that is critical to society, and has an important role to play in Norway during peacetime, emergencies, and war. The summer 2011 floods and resultant mobile network outage, and hurricane Dagmar during Christmas of the same year, showed quite clearly how vulnerable society is when communications fail.

'In order to maintain our role and responsibilities in society, and to ensure that emergencies relating to telecommunications have as little impact as possible on our customers and society in general, we must plan and practice for emergencies,' says Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norway.

In addition to practising its own emergency responses, Telenor will be also be practising jointly with the Norwegian Cyber Force, the National Security Authority, the Police, the Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority, Evry, DNB, and Sparebank 1. The exercise will test interfaces, and highlight vulnerabilities and missing processes.

Incidents in the cyber domain

Telenor regularly conducts both desktop exercises and real emergency exercises in order to deal with emergencies in the best possible way when they occur, whether natural forces, system failure, or sabotage causes them. The CyberDawn exercise will test and quality control the internal and external processes involved in dealing with a security incident in the cyber domain.

'Incidents in the cyber domain require speedy coordination across industries and sectors. We all use the same technology, we all have many of the same vulnerabilities, and we are therefore all able to learn from one another. Therefore, the sharing of information across industries and sectors becomes extremely important. The CyberDawn exercise will hopefully provide the participating parties with challenges, and not least the opportunity for problem solving within this field,' says Storm J. Landaasen, who is in charge of the exercise as well as being Chief Security Officer at Telenor Norway.

Cooperation is the key

The head of the Norwegian Cyber Force, General Major Roar Sundseth, believes that cooperation is the key to dealing with emerging threats in the cyber domain. 'This has been our philosophy from day one. By sharing knowledge and experience with each other, and collaborating on the development of expertise, we can help to forestall the cyber threat and secure Norway against this emerging challenge,' says Sundseth.

'Through the CyberDawn exercise, we will train our mobile capacities for computer network defence, at the same time as we help our collaborative partners to achieve their exercise objectives. For us, it is also important to explore the support requirements of the police and industry that are provided by the Norwegian Armed Forces and are within the remit of the Norwegian Cyber Force,' says General Major Sundseth.

'It is crucial that we conduct good exercises to become better. The participants in CyberDawn will now have an opportunity to test and improve their state of readiness, which also reinforces security in general. For our part, we hope and believe that the exercise will reveal both strengths and weaknesses, which will result in the National Security Authority generally, and especially through our NorCERT role, being better able to coordinate efforts to identify vulnerabilities and deal with incidents in cyberspace,' says Kjetil Nilsen, Director of the National Security Authority.

At the same time as the 'Øvelse Hovedstad' exercise

The exercise is scheduled to run at the same time as the Norwegian Armed Forces 'Øvelse Hovedstad 2013' exercise, which will take place in Oslo and Akershus from 29th August to 5th September. This exercise will interlock with, but not be a part of, the CyberDawn exercise. The 'Øvelse Hovedstad' exercise will involve the participation of around 2000 soldiers from a variety of sections in the Norwegian Home Guard, the Telemark Battalion, His Majesty The King's Guard, and the Police. Units of the Royal Norwegian Navy and the Royal Norwegian Air Force will also participate for a short period. The two exercises will interlock with one another in relation to securing of Telenor’s headquarters by the Norwegian Armed Forces, and the transfer of Telenor personnel from Fornebu to another location.

‘The job of the Norwegian Home Guard, together with other entities in society, is to protect people and important societal functions. This can be best done if we are trained as an organisation, and by training with our collaborative partners. Telenor is one such important collaborative partner,’ says Inspector General for the Norwegian Home Guard, General Major Kristin Lund.

The objective of the CyberDawn exercise is to build confidence for all participating parties in relation to roles, responsibilities, authority, and communications. This applies both within Telenor Norway and between Telenor Norway and the parties the company works with

For further information, please contact:

PR Manager at Telenor Norway, Kristin V. Tønnessen, Tel. +47 934 80 648,

Norwegian Cyber Force Head of Communications Knut H. Grandhagen, Tel. +47 489 55 505,

National Security Authority, Director of Communications Mona Strøm Arnøy, Tel. +47 915 14 931,

The Norwegian Home Guard Lieutenant-Commander Rolf K. Ytterstad, Tel. +47 995 89 510,