Vital role in strengthening Sweden’s national security

The current global situation has put security high on the agenda across many parts of society. And yet, there is a considerable skills shortage when it comes to addressing modern threats – and that puts Blekinge Institute of Technology front and centre. The University is at the heart of a growing cluster of research and development in the field of security.

BTH and the Swedish Armed Forces’ naval base are both headquartered in Karlskrona. It is also home to the Marine Technology Center of Sweden, MTC. It is therefore no coincidence that a centre for innovative maritime security solutions is emerging here. BTH has an important part to play in future maritime security, with the country’s only Master of Science in Engineering with a specialisation in marine systems engineering.

Associate Professor Oskar Frånberg explains that maritime security plays a significant role in modern Swedish society in tackling climate change, securing energy supplies and strengthening defence.

“Maritime security is becoming increasingly important in protecting infrastructure such as offshore wind power or submarine cables on the seabed. As we carry out measures to monitor this type of infrastructure, the increased oversight helps create an improved level of security as we get data about what is happening under the water’s surface.”

BTH and Karlskrona will play a major role in Sweden’s security development as clients, producers, end-users and researchers are gathered in one place. BTH collaborates with many companies, giving researchers and students the opportunity to gain deeper insight and practical understanding of global security issues.

“Through these collaborations, we can gather empirical data about what works in reality. This kind of applied research and up-to-date knowledge is extremely valuable,” says Oskar Frånberg.

BTH also offers education in security, including a Master of Science in Engineering specialising in computer security.

“Today, everything is driven by software, which means that virtually anyone, from anywhere, can enact enormous damage with a cyber-attack. That makes it clear that we need to increase knowledge of security across all areas. If everyone becomes more aware, we reduce the risk that important security adaptations are forgotten. That’s why we prioritise security in all our study programmes,” says Professor Tony Gorschek.

Tony Gorschek emphasises that there is too little focus on engineering security, that is, the kind of security adaptations applied during the design process and the development of digital platforms. Instead, it is more common for resources to be prioritised on operational security, which is used only when a platform is in operation.

“Our study programmes cover both aspects of security, but we know that the value is greater if students gain a solid grounding in engineering security. When we take security into consideration early in a project or during product development, we reduce the risk of any breaches and ultimately avoid the need for operational security.”

5 October 2023

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