Unveiling Nordic Innovations

Nordic Cybersecurity: A Race Against Cybercrimes

Continuous innovation is a cornerstone in the rapidly evolving landscape of cybersecurity, where threats loom large and digital assets hang in the balance. Cybersecurity companies’ challenge is to keep their customers’ digital assets safe. 

forumNordic met cyber security company Nixu’s CEO Teemu Salmi, who leads DNV’s cyber security business, for an in-depth interview. The story began in Finland back in 1988, when Pekka Nikander founded the company, which has grown into a leading player in the cybersecurity industry. Since the end of 2023, they have been a part of the Norwegian assurance and risk management corporation DNV and will transition under a new brand, DNV Cyber, in early 2025. 

The new DNV Cyber business, combining Nixu, Applied Risk and DNV, covers all aspects of cybersecurity, whether it be IT, managed security services or securing industrial control systems in critical infrastructure industries. The company offers an end-to-end service portfolio for both IT and OT (Operational Technology) environments and enables resilience at every stage of the cybersecurity value chain.

“People who work in Cybersecurity are extremely purpose-driven. There is a bigger goal than just going to work; they want to achieve something. Nixu’s people see themselves as innovators, and it is strongly reflected in our culture. DNV sets aside 5% of their revenue for R&D and one of the focus areas is cybersecurity, so we are very well positioned internally to define our R&D agenda,” says Teemu Salmi.

Now, as a result of Det Norske Veritas (DNV) acquiring the Dutch company Applied Risk in 2021 and Nixu last year, it’s time for the next step, and Teemu Salmi has set the goal:

“Cybersecurity is a fairly new capability area within DNV because they started to invest in it only during the last years. Nixu is now, together with Applied Risk, used as a platform company that DNV will continue its growth on, and the ambition is to become one of the largest cybersecurity services providers in Europe.”

Innovating Against Emerging Threats

Innovation is not just about staying ahead of the curve; it’s also about anticipating and mitigating emerging threats. They work hard to stay ahead of cyber criminality and safeguards its clients’ digital assets by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and strategic partnerships.

Innovation benefits from collaborative efforts. By maintaining strong partnerships with both solution providers and clients, the company gathers important insights into contemporary business challenges. According to Teemu Salmi, this collaborative method allows them to create scalable solutions that meet its clients’ needs, facilitating innovation through collective expertise.

Their vision for the future revolves around several key areas, and those are predicted through 3 lenses:

“The digitalization of society will accelerate and continue, and another lens is the geopolitical scene. We know that geopolitics will continue to evolve faster than ever before. And then we have the third lens, which is cyber criminality. These three lenses live parallel to each other and at the same time come together when it comes to technology,” says Teemu Salmi.

“Within the next 15 to 20 years, advancements in quantum computing will likely make it possible to break all current encryption keys. As a result, there will be a critical need for an entirely new encryption platform worldwide.”

With an ever-changing and ongoing battle, the challenge for cyber security companies is to relentlessly stay ahead of cybercriminals.

“We work in a field that is developing so fast and is in perpetual technical development, and of course, we work continuously with education as well to train our people in order to keep their competence and capabilities up to date,” Teemu Salmi concludes.

In the realm of cybersecurity, where the only constant is change, innovation is not just a choice—it’s a necessity. As businesses embrace digital transformation and navigate the challenges of an ever-evolving threat landscape, they will need innovative solutions that will lead the way towards a secure and resilient future.

Photos: Aki Rask

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