November 29, 2022


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Very serious failure of defense systems - VG

Very serious failure of defense systems – VG

The Board of Supreme Audit found serious deficiencies in the digital information systems of the armed forces. They call their latest report “one of the most dangerous we have ever submitted”.


One of the most serious findings is that the Norwegian Armed Forces suffer from limitations in their ability to detect and combat digital attacks. This is very dangerous, the National Audit Bureau wrote in the report which was presented at a press conference on Tuesday.

Their job is to check how the government and authorities are doing their work. This time, they checked whether the systems the armed forces used in their operations were safe, and whether they were working effectively.

The conclusion is that they do not.

Auditor General Carl-Erik Sjot Pedersen said at a press conference: – Today we present one of the most serious reports we have ever made.

It is necessary to be “strict”

He says things are so bad that they take the highest risk on their scale: “Very dangerous.”

The last time the audit did this was three years ago.

– The word “very dangerous” is rarely used, but it is necessary today, believes Sjot Pedersen, and says that there is reason to note that the Minister of Defense shares their assessment of the situation.

He adds the following:

The fact that the Ministry of Defense and Parliament have known about this for a long time does not make it better.

Defense Chief: According to the National Audit Office, Erik Johan Kristoffersen faces challenges that must be addressed.

Sjoot Pedersen says the armed forces have been aware of the challenges since 2010, and that things should have been rectified long ago.

– They said they would do something about it, but they still couldn’t do it, he tells VG.

Three conclusions

The National Audit Bureau reached three conclusions:

  • There are weaknesses in the security of information systems.
  • Systems do not work together.
  • The Department of Defense is very bad.

The systems are critical to the operational capabilities of the armed forces, says the Auditor General, who therefore says they are too weak.

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It could have serious consequences for national security

The National Audit Office says there is a lack of basic security in an increasingly digital world. According to them, the sum of all this is very dangerous.

It may become difficult for the Norwegian armed forces to deal with attacks against Norwegian targets, says Sjot Pedersen.

In a crisis situation, information must be easily shared and orders given quickly. It requires the different systems to work together and communicate well.

– However, our investigation showed that this is not the case, says the auditor general.

Thus, the National Audit Office believes that there is a greater risk that there will be digital attacks against Norway and that any upcoming attacks will not be detected or stopped.

– It could have serious consequences for the country’s security, Schjøtt-Pedersen tells VG.

State Council: Defense Secretary Bjorn Erald Gramm is here on a visit to US forces.

Defense Minister worried

Defense Minister Björn Arild Gram (Sp) said his department shares the National Audit Office’s view on the situation.

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– The National Audit Bureau revealed serious results. We are aware of the shortcomings and have been followed up with a number of actions. Although the National Audit Office writes that this does not affect our ability to carry out day-to-day operations, they point out that deficiencies may have consequences for our operational ability. The Secretary of Defense said in a press release that I take this matter seriously.

He further writes that this year the government has allocated more funds for cyber security, and that this will be further enhanced. Among other things, through a project that is believed to have already improved the ability to monitor and detect digital attacks.

In order to improve ICT management in the defense sector, the Minister has given the Chief of Defense greater responsibility. So far, according to Gram, the responsibility has been very fragmented.

confidential report

The full report from the National Audit Office has been classified as confidential under the Security Act. This means that many of them are not known to the public.

But the National Audit Office produced a non-graded summary, and Auditor General Carl-Eric Sjot Pedersen put it forward on Tuesday.

The National Audit Office itself states that this summary gives a relatively complete picture of the issue. However, confidential information has been removed and some information has been rewritten so that it can be made public without conflicting with the security law.

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We have a more detailed critique than I can go into here, says Sjoott Pedersen, who adds:

– When the Audit Bureau finds such grave errors in the administration of the state, it is important that citizens know about them.

The report is being delivered to the Norwegian Parliament today. After that, it is up to the Parliament’s Oversight Committee to decide how to handle the report further.

Normally, the National Audit Office pursues such investigations after three years, but in this case they think the wait is too long.

Because of these serious findings as in this investigation, we will follow up in one to two years, says the auditor general, who believes this is something the Department of Defense should address immediately.

The ranger at KÅRSTØ: The Norwegian housekeeper is now looking after the Equinor facility in Kårstø.

hot topic

The topic is the ferocity of these days with a higher level of European conflict, since in recent days Norway has, among other things, deployed guards at oil and gas facilities abroad and on the earthbecause these information systems are essential to both the operational operations of Norway’s defense and security.

In recent years, NATO has spent significant resources urging its member states to invest in communications systems produced in Western countries, and to avoid Chinese equipment and technology in particular.

In 2020 hit Fixed NATO internal report That the member states did not have good enough control over foreign investment, especially Chinese, in ports, airports and telecommunications.

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Here, Heimevernet is at Equinor . facility

KÅRSTØ (VG) Home Guard has now been installed in Norwegian facilities to enhance security.

outdated information and communication technology

The armed forces have also been criticized in the past for their struggle to coordinate between departments and units. This can result in different parts of the armed forces working alongside each other, but not together.

Great Defense study by the Norwegian Defense Research Institute FFI in 2021 Determined that the Norwegian Armed Forces face significant challenges in cooperating between different parts of the business:

FFI concluded that “the defense today has ICT solutions that are partly outdated, and the defense sector is not sufficiently capable of using the new technology.”