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May-July 2017

Interview: F-Secure’s Mikko Hyppönen on the Nordics, Russia and the internet of insecure things

After the recent US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hack, the Yahoo data breach and the UK’s introduction of the Investigatory Powers Act, the Nordic region might seem like a safe haven. For Finnish cyber security company F-Secure, its northern location is a definite selling point, but Mikko Hyppönen, the company’s chief research officer, is quick to point out that cyber threats do not care about geographical borders. “When we look at the risk level of Nordic companies, it is the same risk as everywhere else,” says Hyppönen. “Most of the things we see are not targeted, they are not looking for victims in the Nordics, they are just looking for victims. For example, ransom Trojans hit your network, they encrypt your laptop, they encrypt the corporate network and then ask for bitcoin. They don’t care where in the world you are.” Or whether you share a 1,340km border with Russia. Finland’s complex relationship with its neighbour – it is currently celebrating its centenary of independence from Russia – also makes it uniquely ...

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