Interview with Intelligence Day 2017 Speaker Klaus Solberg Solein

Today´s interview will feature Klas Solberg Solein, professor at Halmstad University who will speak about ethics & espionage at the conference.

(Hans Hedin) First I would like to welcome you as a speaker and a panelist at the Nordic Intelligence Day 2017 conference.

(Klaus Solberg Solein) Thanks!

1. Before we talk about your presentation, please let us know a bit more about yourself and your work?

I am a university professor at Halmstad University and have been teaching Competitive Intelligence/Market Intelligence/”Omvärldsanalys” for some fifteen years now. If you count the period when I was working at KPMG and doing my PhD in Germany on part-time, I have been interested in these questions for some twenty years.

2. What is the title of your presentation?

“Intelligence ethics, espionage and the urgent need for Nordic companies to conduct security and counterintelligence activities”.

Well, this is a topic that has been on the front-page on most magazines during the last four months both in Sweden as well as in the US. Could you please elaborate on the topic a little bit?

Gathering secret corporate information through unethical means have become so much easier and less risky the past decade than it was earlier, mainly because it all happens online. So far company practices are far behind when it comes to how companies should protect their information, for example with the use of email encryption.

3. Why is this important for Sweden in general and for the audience at the conference?

Because we must assume that Swedish companies are being hacked 24-7, given what we know about our adversaries capabilities and examples of cases that are leaked.

4. What is your background within specific this field?

Except that this has been my primary professional focus the past twenty years, I work closely with colleagues all over the world who share the same interest. We present at conferences and publish in scientific journals like the Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business (JISIB), which is open access by the way.

5. In our talks, you have mentioned that espionage is in fact a traditional activity for developing countries to catch up on more developed countries. Is that really true for most countries?

Yes, for all those those who have been looking to compete in different industries and internationally

6. I see. I find that very interesting. It puts the concept of national espionage in another perspective when you take this view related to competence development in an historical perspective. How do you see the future enfold related to this?

Well in this sense, I see it continuing as it has proceeded so far, that the up-and-coming nations will continue to try to gain a competitive advantage by taking short cuts.

7. What can and should Swedish companies do about this?

About the history there is nothing to be done, nor about the future of these practices, at least not right now, so it’s more important for companies to think in terms of security and counterintelligence.

8. Ok, and thank you for this insight. You will also be participating in the expert panel focusing on the future of intelligence. Please let us know which tree most interesting topics you see related to the future of corporate intelligence?

Right now it is ever more about technology, as the systems we are using to inform ourselves about the world are getting more complex. Despite this the intelligence analyst has a major role to play and is not about to be substituted by machines.

Thank you very much. I am certain that your ideas will lead to a very interesting debate.
And thank you for participating in the interview. I look forward to meting you again in Stockholm on the 27th of April.