Increased threats to our IT environment require caution and preparedness

Last week, it was reported that, among others, the unemployment insurance funds experienced problems after having been subjected to a cyberattack. The threats to our IT systems are increasing and we must all be cautious and think twice. This is emphasised by Peter Bergehamn, head of IT at Linnaeus University.

During the last two weeks, several authorities have been affected in different ways. Some through external attacks and others in connection to internal maintenance work without any connection to an external attack.

“There is an increased threat to Swedish authorities’ IT systems and the Swedish Computer Security Incident Response Team (CERT-SE) has issued a recommendation to all Swedish authorities to review the security in their IT environments and increase the preparedness for a possible cyberattack. For us, this means minimising the risk of any serious disruptions for members of staff and students”, Bergehamn explains.

What are we doing to review our IT security?
“It’s important that students and members of staff are well-informed and prepared – which is why we urged all managers last week to make sure that their staff and students have all the necessary information and routines for handling a possible cyberattack. In addition, we have implemented a number of technical measures in our systems, we have rehearsed and updated our crisis routines, and we are planning for more technical security measures in the slightly longer term”, Bergehamn continues.

What is it that we must be prepared for?
The worst-case scenario is that we will have to shut down our IT systems, entirely or partly. In that case we must have manual routines in place, without backup from the university’s IT systems. For instance, we must have contact information and other important information printed on paper, and not just stored digitally.

What should I as a student do?
“At the time being, you should be extra cautious of emails that you receive and carefully assess their credibility – especially if they request that you click on a link in the email”, says Bergehamn.

“Also consider ‘what should I do if I’m subjected?” Think about what you and your fellow students should do if the IT environment needs to be shut down. What information that you only have digitally today would you need to have saved locally on your computer, or printed on paper or the like, to be able to handle your job for a couple of days?”, Bergehamn continues.

A few practical tips

  • Save a copy locally at your workplace of the material that you know you will need in the near future.
  • Do you know what to do in the event of a loss of your necessary IT systems? Think about how you could continue your work without access to these systems.
  • Be extra cautious of incoming emails, and carefully assess their credibility.
  • Stay informed and updated via the university’s information channels.

More information

Learn more about our work with IT security on Staff. Do you suspect that you have been subjected to a virus attack or the like? Do not hesitate to report this to IT-support Linnaeus University on