Hybrid threats and hybrid influence activities

Hybrid threats refer to malign external influence by which a state actor seeks to systematically influence the targeted country by combining different means. The aim of hybrid influence activities is to exploit the vulnerabilities of the selected state and to do this as covertly as possible. 

Authoritarian states employ hybrid influence activities as a key instrument of influence. The range of means may include political, diplomatic, economic and military means as well as information and cyber interference. 

Prevention requires networking

As the security environment in Finland has deteriorated, there are more and more observations of hybrid influence activities, and it is important that the authorities actively monitor these activities. 

As a rule, measures to counter hybrid threats are not prepared by any single sector or ministry on its own. Network-based preparation has been identified as a key national operating model, both in the Ministry of the Interior and more broadly in the Government. Cooperation between ministries to identify and prevent hybrid influence activities and to improve resilience has been increased.

Ministry of the Interior’s preparedness for hybrid threats

The Ministry of the Interior has arrangements in place in its administrative branch to improve the flow of information and identification of threats that will help to counter hybrid influence activities against Finland. 

The Ministry of the Interior has a network to counter hybrid threats whose work is coordinated by the National Security Unit. The matters addressed in the network are related to joint preparation by the Government and the EU. The network also creates a link between the Ministry’s sector-specific preparations and joint contingency planning. The network is responsible for preparing, in cooperation with the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service, a threat assessment of hybrid activities that covers the Ministry’s entire administrative branch. The Ministry of the Interior’s National Security Unit also coordinates at the Government level in the assessment of hybrid threats carried out with the European Union and other international cooperation partners.  

Inquiries: Eero Kytömaa, tel. +358 295 488 280