Telenor to launch a dedicated cybersecurity unit

Thomas Kronen (left), CEO of Telenor Cyberdefence, and Dan Ouchterlony (right), head of Telenor Amp.

Thomas Kronen (left), CEO of Telenor Cyberdefence, and Dan Ouchterlony (right), head of Telenor Amp.

  • The digital security threat to consumers, business and other organisations is worsening
  • Network operators have long been regarded as being ideally placed to help thwart cybercriminals
  • Telenor is launching a new cybersecurity company, Telenor Cyberdefence, to address the needs of enterprise users in the Nordic region

Responding to the growing threat of cybercriminals, Telenor is to launch a new company, Telenor Cyberdefence, dedicated to the development and delivery of cybersecurity services to enterprise users in the telco’s Nordic stronghold.  

Thomas Kronen has been appointed CEO of the new company: He joins from Norwegian mobile security specialist Cayes and previously worked for Orange Cyberdefence Norway.

"We have never experienced cyber threats as frequent and severe as we do today,” noted Sigve Brekke, the current CEO and president of Telenor (who will be succeeded by Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer in December). “The business digital landscape is under constant attack, making robust cybersecurity more critical than ever. Telenor has decided to build on its experience and expertise as one of Norway’s strongest security players and is establishing a new cybersecurity company with Nordic ambitions," added the CEO.

Telenor Cyberdefence will “offer businesses a Security Operations Centre (SOC) for 24/7 monitoring, prevention, detection, and response to all types of cyber threats and incidents” as well as providing “specialist expertise through consultancy services and testing of IT systems and infrastructure,” noted Telenor.

Cybersecurity has been a growing concern for businesses for years already but is becoming an increasing headache as enterprises rely more and more on digital platforms and services for their core operations and growth strategies. In announcing its new company, Telenor cites a survey conducted by Norstat which shows that 20% of business leaders in Norway, representing 130,000 companies, said they had experienced cyberattacks during the past year. The Norstat survey, conducted on behalf of Telenor, also revealed that nearly 9 out of 10 business leaders are concerned about their operations being crippled by a cyberattack.

"Businesses across all sectors are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals and there is a significant unmet need in the market. We want to capture a share of this," stated Kronen.

"The Norwegian SOC market is worth around NOK 3bn [$280m] annually, according to our own analysis. Telenor Cyberdefence has ambitions to expand its operations across all Nordic markets, presenting a significant opportunity for rapid growth and establishing a strong market position," added Kronen.

The new company will be part of Telenor Amp, the branch of the operator that acts as a parent to emerging new business units: Telenor Amp’s current portfolio  comprises 15 fully- or partially-owned companies with a combined value of around $1bn.

"The exponential growth of data and the increasing digitalisation of society are providing criminals with a larger digital landscape to attack,” noted Dan Ouchterlony, head of Telenor Amp. “This is a challenge we are taking seriously by establishing Telenor Cyberdefence, and purposely focusing on digital security. This will enable us to develop advanced security products for the business market more rapidly and more effectively meet market needs," he added.

When Telenor reported its first quarter results in April, it warned of a rise in cybersecurity threats: In the first three months alone, the company saw the number of digital attack attempts against its customers increase by nearly 70% compared to the previous quarter, which led to an increased appetite for the service provider’s existing security products. 

For more on the background to the launch of Telenor Cyberdefence, see this announcement

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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