Greenland agency, Danish centre to cooperate on cyber security

An undated photo of Greenland’s capital city of Nuuk. (iStock)

A Greenland agency will be working with a Danish cyber security centre to better protect the island’s neworks from attack, the Greenlandic government said on Monday.

“In the past few years, Greenland has experienced an increase in cyber attacks against both public authorities and private companies,” Greenland’s Premier Mute B. Egede said in the government’s Danish-language news release.

“It’s clear that the threat picture that emerges internationally also applies to Greenland.”

Greenland’s Agency for Digitisation has now entered into a cooperation with Denmark’s Centre for Cyber Security (CFCS).

“It’s important that Greenland can draw on highly qualified advice and at the same time have a focus on building competences in Greenland within cyber and information security,” says Greenland’s Prime Minister Mute B. Egede, pictured here in a 2021 file photo.(Ritzau Scanpix/Emil Helms/Reuters)

Greenland’s Agency for Digitisation is responsible for cyber and information security in Greenland.

The CFCS’s website describes its mission as advising both government and private companies in Denmark about how to counter and prevent cyber attacks.

Training and threat assessments to come

As part of the agreement CFCS staff will help with employee training at the Greenlandic agency as well as advising the agency on cyber and information security.

“It is important that Greenland can draw on highly qualified advice, and at the same time have a focus on building competences in Greenland within cyber and information security,” Egede said.

The CFCS will also prepare regular assessments and hold briefings concerning cyber threats against Greenland.

“Foreign states and criminal hackers pose a persistent cyber threat to Greenland,” CFCS head Thomas Flarup said.

“In 2022, we have seen several cyber attacks that have affected socially important functions in Greenland, among other things in the form of downtime in citizen-facing services in the central administration and in the healthcare system.”

A file photo of Queen Ingrid’s Hospital, Queen Ingridip Napparsimavissua, in Nuuk, Greenland. Greenland’s health system network was attacked in May. (Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

Greenland has been hard hit by attacks in recent months, and includes an attack on the government’s network  in March. Then in May, the health care system network was attacked, severely limiting services.

Egede told Greenlandic news paper Sermitsiaq.AG at the time that the March attacks had links to espionage.

Seriousness of cyber threat to Greenland

Nobody at Greenland’s Agency for Digitisation or the CFCS could be reached for comment on Tuesday about the agreement.

But on Monday, the CFCS’s Flarup said the significance of the attacks this year should not be underestimated.

“The incidents reflect the seriousness of the cyber threat,” Flarup said.

“As part of strengthening cooperation on cyber and information security, it is therefore an important step that we now have a very concrete agreement on how we can jointly contribute to ensuring progress and robustness in Greenland’s cyber defence.”

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Online security experts warn against online voting in territorial elections in Northern Canada, CBC News

Finland: Russian cyber attacks, espionage pose growing threat to Finnish national security, Yle news

Iceland: Nordics should aim for common approach to China’s Arctic involvement says report, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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