The importance of strategic leadership in cyber security: Case of Finland

Jarno Limnéll, Martti Lehto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

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Cyber security has become one of the biggest priorities for businesses and governments. Streamlining and strengthening strategic leadership are key aspects in making sure the cyber security vision is achieved. The strategic leadership of cyber security implies identifying and setting goals based on the protection of the digital operating environment. Furthermore, it implies coordinating actions and preparedness as well as managing extensive disruptions. The aim of this paper is to define what is strategic leadership of cyber security and how it is implemented as part of the comprehensive security model in Finland. The paper also asks (and answers) how the strategic leadership of cyber security must be organised. This paper provides proposals for managing strategic cyber security in society and public administration, for managing large disruptions in the cyber operating environment. Key data consists of different security-related strategies and instructions, existing research information, and interviews with public sector actors and experts of the field. In terms of effective strategic leadership of cyber security, it is vital to identify structures that can respond to the operative requirements set by the environment. As a basis for national development and preparedness, it is necessary to have a clear strategy level leadership model and situation awareness that supports management. They are also necessary for the management of serious, extensive disruptions in both normal and exceptional conditions of the cyber operating environment. The challenges of cyber security management are particularly prominent at the level of strategic leadership. In order to ensure cyber security and achieve the set strategic goals, society must be able to engage different parties and reconcile resources and courses of action as efficiently as possible. Cyber capability must be developed in the entire society, which calls for strategic coordination, management and executive capability. The goals presented in Finland’s Cyber Security Strategy have guided the creation of strategic leadership models for cyber security. Alternative models for the strategic leadership of cyber security in Finland is presented in the paper.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security, ECCWS 2019
EditorsTiago Cruz, Paulo Simoes
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912764-29-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-912764-28-0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventEuropean Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security - Coimbra, Portugal
Duration: 4 Jul 20195 Jul 2019
Conference number: 18

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European conference on cyber warfare and security
ISSN (Print)2048-8602
ISSN (Electronic)2048-8610


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security
Abbreviated titleECCWS


  • Cyber security
  • Leadership
  • National security
  • Situational picture
  • Strategic leadership


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