In 2019, Uniqkey had the privilege of partnering with the The Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) for an important security initiative aimed at enhancing the digital security of Danish Defence personnel.
The Danish Defence, facing the reality of escalating cyber warfare and increasing digitization, realized the need for stronger online protection for its employees. To address this need, DALO embarked on a test trial with Uniqkey in early 2019.
The goal of the collaboration was to test whether Uniqkey could effectively decrease cyber vulnerabilities by safeguarding the private digital lives of the Defence’s personnel in a simple and user-friendly way.
This collaboration achieved several key milestones:
- It fostered a heightened awareness of individual digital security needs within DALO.
- It successfully demonstrated the potential of a user-friendly security tool that can protect the digital private sphere of Defence personnel.
- It laid the groundwork for possibly extending such security measures across the entire Danish Defence.
To get a deeper understanding of the results of this test trial, we had a conversation with Kristian Vengsgaard, the (now former) Chief Information Officer of the Danish Defence. He shared his thoughts about the cybersecurity challenges they faced prior to our collaboration and how the initiative has created a positive impact on the Defence’s cybersecurity posture.
Let’s dive into the conversation:
Q: Can you tell us about your role and position?
Kristian: My name is Kristian Vengsgaard, and I’m the CIO of the Danish Defence.
Q: What is DALO?
Kristian: DALO is a “one-stop shop” for the rest of the Danish Defence. We provide all military materiel and IT, as well as a range of other components needed to operate a national defence.
Q: What cybersecurity challenges led you to search for a tool like Uniqkey?
Kristian: We started looking into Uniqkey with the aim of improving a part of our IT security that we rarely focus on.
We know that one of the most pressing challenges within cybersecurity right now is threats like social engineering attacks. These are attacks that target humans, not systems.
Knowing this, the point of our collaboration with Uniqkey was to test how one could defend this new attack vector, where our soldiers continue to be high-value targets even when they’ve finished their day at work and go home.
Q: What makes Uniqkey a useful security solution for the Danish Defence?
Kristian: It’s not like any of our other products – that are very technical and complicated.
It’s a user-friendly product that is easy to use for regular people. It’s not very complex, which means that regular users can use it in their everyday life.
And it’s that kind of protection I wanted to test. What actually happens if we expand our cybersecurity to include the private sphere? That’s where we believed Uniqkey was a good fit. And fortunately, they were happy to set up a proof of concept with us.
Q: How important is usability when it comes to cybersecurity?
Kristian: Nobody finds IT fun. People just want to get things done. They just want to solve a problem. IT is simply a tool. The better the tool, the more intuitive it is, the easier it is to use, the happier people are when using it.
It’s not that people hate IT, per se. But it’s the value that IT creates for people that drives them.
And that’s why I believe intuitiveness and simplicity is the future. Especially when it comes to things that act as obstacles for users. When it comes to security. Water follows the path of least resistance. And it’s the same with people. They will circumvent security measures if they get in their way.
Q: Uniqkey has been thoroughly tested by your IT teams. What has their feedback been?
Kristian: If there’s something IT people do well, it’s finding weaknesses in products and coming up with suggestions on how things could be done better.
I haven’t received anything like that.
So based on that, I would say that it really holds water even against people who like to tear things apart.
Q: How has the collaboration with Uniqkey been?
Kristian: Working with Uniqkey has been good. We’ve had an excellent dialogue. My experience is that Uniqkey has been really accommodating. They’ve put in a lot of effort to make this project successful.
We’ve had a lot of back and forth in terms of figuring out how to move things forward. But I really think Uniqkey has done well to make that happen. And working with them has been great. I’ve nothing negative to say about this pilot project we’ve been running. I just want to note that Uniqkey has gone far to make things work. And all in all, delivered a very solid solution.
This successful trial with Uniqkey has been a significant step forward for the Danish Defence, showing promise in safeguarding the private digital lives of Defence personnel.
Looking ahead, DALO plans to leverage the insights gained to further strengthen their cybersecurity measures across the entire defence force.