The university has conducted a review of its security preparedness
Anna Cregård, Head of Professional Services, explains more about why the review has been carried out:
"We are continuously working on security issues, but right now, Russia's invasion of Ukraine makes it particularly important to review our preparedness and strengthen our work here. This work has been ongoing since the start of the invasion. We are following developments in the specially established Ukraine group, led by the university's Security Coordinator Henrik Werner. For example, we are monitoring the amount and strength of cyber attacks against us, the number of refugees to Borås, any opportunities for the university to take action, and other universities’ situations and actions. We also receive information through the university's representative in the international network Scholars at Risk, SAR, Veronica Trépagny."
What came out of the review?
"Among other things, we have reviewed the continuity plan for the university as a whole. It's a plan that helps us be prepared. The plan is based on a number of likely crisis scenarios, and then goes through what would need to be done to be well prepared. What are our priorities to ensure university operations can continue? This has meant, for example, reviewing back-up power in the event of power loss (both the amount of back-up power and what it will supply), securing access systems and doors, and ensuring that we can reach out with information in an easy way."
"But other security work is also being done, such as reviewing our crisis management rooms and adjusting our crisis plan. The IT Office has carried out an exercise and central crisis management will soon do the same. Exercises of this kind are carried out at regular intervals and are part of normal security work."
How well equipped is the university?
"My assessment is that the university has well-functioning security processes and that we take security issues very seriously. The Campus Facilities and Sustainability Office works with other stakeholders, such as our property owners, the police department, and staff at the Faculty of Police Work, to increase security for both employees and students. At the same time, we are a relatively open organisation, and there is always the risk of unauthorised access to the premises. Security and transparency must be balanced and this is something we do all the time. We want to be an open organisation with an open campus, while at the same time being able to act quickly to minimise risks and damage in the event of heightened risks and emerging crises. The government is also pressing us to work on this."
There is also a group working on what has come to be known as “responsible internationalisation” – an important concept in our sector. The purpose of the group, chaired by Camilla M Andersson, Director of the Faculty Support Office, is to bring together issues related to the area of safe/responsible internationalisation. The group works with information classification for research, information for researchers and operations, processes for entry and exit in our operations, and risk assessment of international collaborations.
What does the ongoing security work mean for employees?
"We are trying to minimise restrictions on employees' daily lives as far as is reasonable. But security work has meant, for example, that we have had to move mailboxes so that they are not publicly accessible, and that we have adjusted access to certain premises. It also means that everyone needs to think about their behaviour in everyday situations from a security perspective: for example, informing themselves about IT security and not clicking on suspicious links or lending out access tags and codes of various kinds."
Can employees feel safe? Is there any general concern?
"Europe is in a serious situation, and as we have all seen. There is a hybrid war going on from which we in Sweden are not immune - I am thinking about both the Nord Stream leaks in the Baltic Sea and of the many cyber-attacks that are taking place. The important thing to remember is that higher education has a very important mission – in all situations. Security work aims to enable and ensure that we can continue to train nurses, teachers, IT staff and police officers, for example, even in the event of unforeseen events, and to ensure that people, information, operations, and property are not harmed. So I feel calm. Of course, there are a lot of employees who ask about security, but I don't feel that the concern is intense or widespread."
This applies in the case of heightened readiness (civil defence, wartime deployment)
Civil defence is about the resilience of society as a whole in the face of war and wartime threats. Civil defence is the work of government agencies, municipalities and regions, private companies and voluntary organisations. The aim is to protect the civilian population and ensure essential social functions.
The university's task is to continue to pursue its core mission of education and research. Secondly, other priorities may be set within the organisation, but support from other authorities may also be required.
In the event of an emergency, the Vice-Chancellor can decide on a wartime placement for employees at the University of Borås on the basis of the employment contract. It is a way of reserving the staff needed to carry out our activities in that situation.