IT Life: Stonesoft’s Politically-Minded Strategist

Jarno Limnell Stonesoft lead

Governments need to solve the strategic issues before addressing technology, says Stonesoft’s Jarno Limnell

Jarno Limnell is director of cyber security at the Finnish firewall company Stonesoft, for which Intel’s security subisidary McAfee just bid $250 million.

Jarno Limnell Stonesoft square

Limnell has a technical role, at a company with a very technological approach – Stonesoft’s calling card is its next-generation firewalls designed to see through advanced evations techniques (AETs). But he thinks cyber security is not primarily a technical question.

“There are many more open strategic issues which the world should solve in the cyber landscape before thinking about technical solutions,” he told us. “We should not concentrate only on the threats, the cyber world is full of opportunities as well.”

It turns out that Limnell has a political turn of mind. He has a Doctor of Military Science degree from Finalnd’s National Defense University, and has worked as a lecturer in strategy at the Department of Strategic and Defence Studies, National Defence University in Helsinki.

Do you have a favourite project you have worked on?
My favorite project (so far) would have to be a writing project – my book called “The world and Finland after 9/11”, penned two years ago. It’s very interesting to think and analyse how the events of 9/11 have changed the world in the last decade

fareed zakaria

What tech were you involved with over the last few years?
I’ve been concentrating on strategic security issues for the last 15 years. This includes comment and research regarding where cyber security has the greatest impact on our understanding of overall security within the next couple of years.

Who is your tech hero?

In the technology space,  it would have to be Steve Jobs – what a visionary!

In general, however, I would say [Indian-American journalist] Fareed Zakaria (pictured). I admire his ability to understand the big issues in the world.

Who is your tech villain?
Within technology, I would say Linus Torvalds (a Finnish American software engineer and hacker) – in a good way though!

Outside of tech, it would have to be every government who already is or is about to start spying on its own citizens via cyberspace

What’s your favourite technology ever made? Which do you use most?
It’s my cell phone. It’s fantastic what you’re able to do with a cell phone today!

Nokia Phone logoApart from your own, which company do you admire most and why?
As a Finn, I would have to say Nokia. I believe that Nokia will come back even stronger one day.

To Cloud or not to Cloud?
To cloud – but with security, of course!

What’s the most interesting trend you’re seeing in cyber warfare?
Most interestingly for me, is that in order to understand the nature of cyber war, we must cast aside the restrictive dualistic thinking of “war” or “peace” as two absolute and mutually exclusive ontological states.

What did you want to be when you were a child?
A politician

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