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Cyber security – both a passion and profession for Professor Jarno Limnéll

Jarno Limnéll started work as Professor of Cyber Security at the School of Electrical Engineering at the beginning of September.
Photo by Aalto University / Lasse Lecklin

Limnéll is a Doctor of Arts (Military Science), a Master of Social Sciences, a retired captain, and a Director of Cyber Security at McAfee. He has a passion for seamlessly linking cyber security with security in general.

‘Cyber security and physical security are increasingly intertwined, as the society operates largely with the help of the cyber world. Bits are involved in the way that we study, work, engage in politics, do business, and deal with the security of citizens,’ Limnéll says.

He hopes that cyber security will be dealt with in Finland with a strategic approach.  This would mean raising the level of discussion from mere technology to pondering the big picture - the influence of cyber security on society as a whole.

Today all critical infrastructures, such as electrical grids, energy distribution, logistics chains and water treatment plants are extremely dependent on data networks.

‘A sense of fear should not deliberately be incited, but facts need to be recognised. At worst, it is possible to do very bad things through the cyber world.’

Not just threats and crime

Threats and crime are not the only things that digitalisation is bringing forth. Limnéll emphasises that cyber security opens great opportunities for Finnish businesses.

‘There is great need for international cyber diplomacy, and there is demand for Finnish confidence capital. We have concrete expertise and a reputation as a reliable partner. Finland has an excellent opportunity now to grasp the opportunities and to profile itself as a major player in international forums.’ 

Limnéll wants to work to make all of this possible.

‘I am tremendously excited about the Professor of Practice setup. It offers the possibility to combine the daily teaching and research activities of the university with the real-life world of business.’

Running while keeping up with the schedules

Cyber security is not an isolated academic chair - it is a field of research and teaching which requires multidisciplinary collaboration with academia and industry. 

‘In my research I want to emphasise the development of security in Finnish society and the areas that benefit domestic business.’

Keeping a balanced calendar is one of the challenges in combining corporate management with the work of a professor. And even though work is a passion for Limnéll, it does not fill his entire life.  Nothing can replace time with the family.

Daily exercise also keeps the mind in balance. Limnéll is a former competitive triathlete who runs several marathons each year.   

Photo: Aalto University/Lasse Lecklin

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