The National Emergency Supply Agency builds the ability to counter hostile information influencing
The National Emergency Supply Agency will establish a new knowledge centre on information resilience. It is a pilot project planned until 2024 and funded through the National Emergency Supply Agency’s Digital Security 2030 programme. A permanent location and funding source will be identified during the project.
Information influencing means activities through which an external party aims to systematically and harmfully have an impact on people’s ideas and actions. Possible means include the dissemination of false and inaccurate information, and the use of data in a purposefully misleading way. Such activities seek to disrupt key societal functions and, therefore, the ability of society to operate. Information influencing has existed throughout history, but the range of means is changing through the development of the digital environment. To combat information influencing, it must first be identified.
“By developing information resilience, we can ensure that any threats and risks in the information environment can be controlled. The media, people and the authorities need procedures and tools that help identify signs of information influencing and assess the reliability of information,” says Antti Sillanpää, Business Continuity Manager at the National Emergency Supply Agency.
The preliminary report on information resilience conducted by the National Emergency Supply Agency in 2021 showed significant national defects in information security and highlighted the establishment of an information resilience unit as a development area. Based on the report, the National Emergency Supply Agency’s Board of Directors decided in May 2022 to initiate a pilot project to test various functions and needs in practice.
The knowledge centre will start operating in the autumn of 2022, and the pilot project is planned to continue until the end of 2024. It will be funded through the National Emergency Supply Agency’s digital security 2030 programme. During the pilot project, networks and operating models will be built, and information will be gathered to decide on the future of the activities.
Information resilience as part of overall security
The goal is to strengthen national competence in information resilience and develop operating models and tools for the prevention of manipulation. The centre will also act as a competence hub in Finland and build international networks. It will produce information about intentional and harmful information campaigns targeted at Finland and help business life, population and the authorities identify and combat information influencing.
“Information resilience is part of overall security which is advanced through cooperation between the authorities, business life, associations and regular people. This is a perfect fit for the National Emergency Supply Agency’s operating model which emphasises cooperation between different societal parties,” Sillanpää says.
The pilot project requires the expertise of various specialists in different sectors to improve information resilience. In the first phase, the ability to analyse data will be built and the knowledge centre’s networks will be defined. Once the centre has started operating, the aim is to develop data analytics and provide reports for various target groups, and offer training support.
Preliminary report on information resilience in the National Emergency Supply Agency’s publications (PDF in Finnish)