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NUPI skole
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Research project

Critical Digital Infrastructures

Protecting critical infrastructures from digital threats is a key challenge for modern states, how should the state approach and make sense of the security of privately owned infrastructures?


  • Security policy
  • Cyber
  • Conflict


Modern societies ar increasingly dependent on a host of critical infrastructures and functions to meet the demands of its citizens. As an example the loss of telecommunication services today would have vastly more dramatic consequences today than just 15 years ago. One of the consequences of the increased criticality of said functions and infrastructures is the fact that ensuring their security becomes vital for any modern state.  In correlation with this increased importance critical functions are undergoing several crucial transformations, with three major trends shaping the field. These are the rapid digitalization of said functions, the growing share of private ownership and the growing transnational ties that cross borders and political jurisdictions. 

In light of increasing geopolitical tensions in the Nordic region this points towards a complex and evolving landscape which is challenging to navigate. New and complex vulnerabilities can impact the security of the state and its citizens, yet the abovementioned developments challenges the states ability to intervene. A modern approach to securing these functions thus necessitates new forms of cooperation and regulation. The state can no longer provide security on its own, and is increasingly reliant on private services to keep up with a rapidly evolving field. State security is no longer just about the state, but increasingly dependent on aligning the interest of the public and the private. This project examines how these challenges are perceived and met in Norway, Finland and the UK, investigating how they solve the issues of public-private cooperation and transnational dependence. How do they divide the responsibilities? How does the state approach the private sector? And what is the role for international and regional organizations?


Lars Gjesvik
Senior Research Fellow
Karsten Friis
Research Professor