WithSecure and SSH support international talent at Aalto University

Finnish cybersecurity companies SSH and WithSecure have made donations for student scholarships to Aalto University to attract the best and brightest international information security talent to Finland.
Two people having a conversation at a coffee room in front of a window with light pouring in.
There are students from 21 countries currently studying in the Security and Cloud Computing master’s programme. Image: Matti Ahlgren/Aalto University

International competition for talent is fiercer than ever. Finland recently ranked eighth in the world for talent competitiveness, with Helsinki coming in at number 13 among cities. Aalto University is the most international university in Finland, attracting students from over 100 countries and professors from more than 40. It is regularly ranked among the top universities in the world.

The same rankings show that Aalto’s Department of Computer Science is the leading department in the Nordics, continuing the rich legacy of Finnish expertise in the field. The department hosts the Helsinki-Aalto Institute for Cybersecurity (HAIC), which is a joint initiative between Aalto and the University of Helsinki.

‘Our mission is to harness world-class talent in research and education to push the boundaries of information security, in close cooperation with our industry partners,’ says Janne Lindqvist, associate professor, director of HAIC and head of the Department of Computer Science. ‘Aalto has the international gravitas to attract top international talent. With our industry collaboration, we want to make sure that Finland is also a place that our graduates want to stay and work at.’

Cybersecurity companies WithSecure™ (formerly F-Secure Business) and SSH are perhaps two of the most emblematic drivers of the Finnish information security legacy. Both companies compete on the global markets and in a borderless environment. To navigate a more complex world, international expertise is of utmost importance.

‘Today’s threat landscape is considerably more dynamic and challenging than what organizations faced in previous years,’ says Juhani Hintikka, president and CEO of WithSecure. ‘However, defenders are also more capable. Ensuring organizations have the resources they need to get positive security outcomes is vital for navigating the road ahead.’

The companies have made donations to HAIC’s student scholarships, which will be used to cover the living expenses of the best international applicants for the duration of their master’s degree studies in the Security and Cloud Computing master’s programme. Aalto University will cover the tuition fees for the selected students.

‘Right now, there’s not enough security professionals to meet the demand for their services. And this is an industry-wide challenge that needs to be addressed. One of the most important ways we’re dealing with this challenge is by supporting students and educators to ensure high-quality training is available for people trying to build careers in the cyber security industry,’ explains Hintikka.

Building trust with students from the get-go is also a priority for SSH.

"SSH builds defensive cybersecurity solutions with a future-proof approach. By supporting HAIC, we ensure that we future-proof our talent pool and get to know students from the start of their journey in the field. As an international company, we see HAIC as a valuable channel for reaching out to the international talent of the future," says Tanja Hyöky, human resources manager at SSH.

‘Through our cooperation, we have gained a lot of thesis writers and summer workers, some of whom have continued to work part-time after the summer while studying. The cooperation is a win-win for all parties, so we are happy to continue our support for HAIC talents,’ concludes Hyöky.

The application period for Aalto University's master's programmes has begun and will last until January 2nd 2023. Check out how to apply here. 


Helsinki-Aalto Institute for Cybersecurity (HAIC) (external link)

Helsinki-Aalto Institute for Cybersecurity (HAIC) is a strategic initiative set up by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki in June 2016 to ensure excellence in cybersecurity research and education.

secclo brand picture

Applying to Security and Cloud Computing (SECCLO) (external link)

Find out the six steps to apply to SECCLO – Master's Programme in Security and Cloud Computing.

Student Ekaterina Shmeleva from School of Science standing at Otaniemi campus / photo Aalto University, Matti Ahlgren

‘I’m happy I didn’t go anywhere else’ – HAIC scholars very satisfied with their studies at Aalto

As top applicants, Rina Shmeleva and Parinaz Avaznejad received scholarships for their master’s studies and now they share their study experiences

Henkilökuvassa hymyilevä, parrakas ja silmälasipäinen Bruno Duarte on kahden muun miehen kanssa. Heillä kaikilla on siniset SECCLO-tunnuksin varustetut hupparit päällään.

Alumnus of SECCLO programme: ‘Creating a bond with Finland’

A summer internship led to a career in cybersecurity at Ericsson for Bruno Duarte from Paraguay, who graduated from the SECCLO Master’s programme in Security and Cloud Computing in 2020.

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