Business area Secure Communications

The ability to safely and efficiently handle sensitive information is central to the stability and security of society, particularly when it comes to important social functions and critical infrastructure. Sectra has extensive experience of protecting society’s most critical communications, and is a strong brand in the area of encryption and secure mobile communications. IT developments in society, political instability in the world, and the growth of cybercrime are creating a greater need for Sectra’s expertise and product offerings.

Where we are headed

The operating area’s long-term goal is to be a leading provider of solutions for critical IT/OT security. Sectra mainly focuses on government agencies, defense departments and society’s critical operations. Ensuring that these players can execute their tasks in a secure manner increases the potential for an open, safe and stable society.

Quick facts

Figures refers to fiscal year 2017/2018.

Number of employees: 76

Revenue: SEK 143 million

Product offering

  • Products for secure voice and text communication and secure data transmission. Products that are approved by national security authorities and international organizations, such as the EU and NATO.
  • Risk, security and threat analyses in society’s critical operations.
  • Monitoring services for control systems in society’s critical operations.
  • Customer-specific development assignments and services.
  • Maintenance in the form of support and upgrades.
  • Training for users and administrators.

Customers

  • Authorities and defense departments that handle classified or sensitive information. Many customers are subject to regulations stipulating that their products must be approved by an independent security authority for handling classified information.
  • Operations in society’s critical infrastructure, such as energy supply.

Sales channels and geographic presence

Mainly direct sales, but also distribution partners in some countries. The operating area has offices in the Netherlands and Sweden, which are its largest markets, as well as in Finland. Due to export restrictions in the crypto industry, sales of securityapproved communication systems are directed exclusively at customers in the European market. These restrictions do not apply to solutions and services for critical infrastructure.

Where we are now

For government agencies and defense departments, the ability to transfer information can be a matter of national security or life and death. The demands on stability, accessibility and usability are thus extremely high and the communication equipment used for handling classified information must, according to customer regulations, be reviewed and approved by an independent security authority.

Sectra has more than 30 years of experience in developing secure communication systems. The operating area’s offering includes approved communication solutions for the Top Secret, Secret, Confidential and Restricted security levels. The company’s solutions are used by customers in most European countries, and by the EU and NATO. This is the result of close and long-lasting partnerships with customers as well as national security authorities in many countries.

Secure mobile communications

The offering for secure mobile communications includes a complete system concept with solutions for various security levels. The system facilitates cooperation between organizations and units with specific security requirements. The solutions are reviewed by independent security authorities to obtain the approvals required for classified information. Products and infrastructure for secure mobile communications are sold as traditional product deliveries and as services including products, operation, security administration, support and training.

The product area is focusing on expanding into new customer segments for government authorities, critical infrastructure and enterprises. Part of this work involves an international partnership with the Korean company Samsung to further develop the Sectra Tiger/R secure mobile telephony solution. This partnership has resulted in a unique smartphone solution based on Sectra’s encryption technology and the Samsung Knox security platform.

Illustration of product offering (pdf): Keep communicating for a more secure world

Customer-specific development assignments

Project-based development of crypto products for defense departments and government agencies was previously the core of the business area’s operations, and the area remains an important source of revenue. Development often takes place in close cooperation with national security authorities, mainly in the Netherlands and Sweden. Customer-specific assignments include everything from establishing requirements and conducting preliminary studies to series production and maintenance commitments. Examples of ongoing assignments include a crypto for the Tetra networks used by various blue-light emergency services, and a network crypto for the highest security level of Top Secret. In some cases, the results from customer-specific assignments have been modified for sale to a broader market. Sectra’s Tiger products for secure mobile communications are one such example.

Communication solutions approved by independent security authorities

For government agencies and defense departments, the ability to transfer information can be a matter of national security or life and death. The demands on stability, accessibility and usability are thus extremely high, and the communication equipment used for handling classified information must, according to customer regulations, be reviewed and approved by an independent security authority. Four levels of security – Top Secret, Secret, Confidential and Restricted – define how sensitive information is to be handled and the potential damage that its disclosure could cause. Sectra’s offering includes approved communication solutions for all security levels.

Security analysis and monitoring services for critical infrastructure

The business area has extensive experience of performing the threat and security analyses required for crypto products. This knowledge can be transferred and applied to customers using supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems within so-called critical infrastructure. One such example is the energy sector, where Sectra is in the unique position of being able to offer solutions that allow customers to better leverage the opportunities presented by new technology without increasing their exposure to risks. The company’s critical infrastructure operations are still in the establishment phase but show considerable growth potential. While Sectra’s services have attracted considerable interest, it is still a new market that has not yet gained momentum.

Illustration of product offering (pdf): How Sectra contributes to increased cybersecurity

The way forward

Focus on offering customers stable, accessible and easy-to-use solutions for critical IT and OT security.

Opportunities

  • Grow in the area of secure mobile communications through international expansion, collaboration and further development of the product offering.
  • Secure new customer-specific assignments with the potential to generate product sales.
  • Use Sectra’s expertise and strong brand in the areas of cybersecurity and crypto technology to grow in the area of IT and OT security for critical infrastructure.

Risks

  • Unpredictable changes in security requirements or delays in approval processes by security authorities, which extends the time before a product can be delivered to customers.
  • Dependence on large, individual customers. The operating area’s two largest customers account for more than half of its sales.

For information on operating risks, refer to Sectra's Annual Report.

Further reading about the business area

Further reading about Sectras operating areas

 

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