We find ourselves in an era where the entire landscape of threats and risks has undergone a profound transformation in a relatively short span of time. From dwelling in a period characterised by profound peace, and enjoying the longest uninterrupted spell of peace, we have suddenly found ourselves embroiled in a challenging situation characterised by uncertainty and warfare between nation-states within Europe. Furthermore, a geo-economic rivalry between the Western world and China is unfolding, in tandem with lingering repercussions stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, which continue to cast uncertainty over the flow of goods and services. Collectively, these factors delineate an altered threat landscape, not only impacting our core values and way of life but also posing challenges to Norwegian businesses and enterprises.

Much has been written about safeguarding our digital assets and the imperative of establishing robust protocols for securing our presence in the digital realm. Undoubtedly, this remains a paramount concern for all, both businesses and private individuals alike. Equally pivotal is the preservation of physical security. In this regard, we have had a chat with Erik Lauritzen (Senior Advisor in High Security and Perimeter Security) and Kai Rostad Øvregard (Regional Director for the Western Region) at Garda Sikring AS. In the realm of physical security, rapid developments are afoot. Garda Sikring, as the preeminent company in the Nordic region specialising in physical security, consistently strives to stay at the vanguard of progress, offering its clientele the optimal solutions and mitigating the risk of undesirable events. Garda Sikring employs a holistic approach, crafting perimeter solutions tailored to the distinct needs of various clients, encompassing property protection, infrastructure security, contingency plans, and various outdoor and indoor physical barriers.

Norway stands as a high-tech, digitally-driven society. Norwegian enterprises excel in numerous domains, delivering goods and services of exceedingly high quality. Securing these assets holds paramount importance. We must forestall external powers, competitors, and other actors from gaining access to our products, proprietary information, or detailed blueprints. Similarly, safeguarding our critical infrastructure, such as oil and gas facilities, water supply systems, and power plants, is essential to prevent potential acts of sabotage or terrorist attacks.

Erik and Kai recount that the terrorist attack in Oslo in 2011 exposed vulnerabilities in the security of key buildings and institutions not only in Oslo but across the country. As a consequence, heightened awareness regarding security and protective measures has since permeated both urban spaces and the periphery of critical infrastructure.

In the public sphere, it is crucial to maintain an open society founded on trust, while simultaneously implementing security measures to protect key structures and ensure public safety.

This mindset has likewise diffused into the private sector, where the demand for physical security measures in public areas and buildings continues to grow. The oil and gas industry, for many years, has embraced this ethos, and it is now evident that the trend is spreading from surrounding sectors to other cities and regions.

In the altered threat landscape, threats encompass not only theft and sabotage by state actors and criminals but also internal threats. These could involve employees who have been recruited or coerced into theft or sabotage, or individuals compelled to take actions they would not otherwise contemplate due to challenging financial circumstances.

Regardless of the actor’s identity or origin, the goal remains to establish various barriers that make it challenging to execute undesirable actions.

Exercising control over perimeter security and incorporating multiple layers of security is imperative to safeguard our assets.

An increasing number of Norwegian businesses fall under the purview of the Security Act. This may be due to their classification as Fundamental National Functions (FNFs) or because they supply goods and services to entities governed by the Security Act. Specific requirements are imposed on businesses subject to the Security Act, but all enterprises should holistically assess their own assets.

In response to questions regarding the “driving forces” behind this heightened demand, Erik and Kai note that there is generally a heightened security level and greater awareness of physical security.

The requirements outlined in the Security Act and the growing number of assets subject to protection represent uncharted territory for many procurement officers and clients. The trends indicate increased demand from clients, including property developers and state property owners such as the Norwegian Armed Forces’ Estate Agency (PFT) and the Norwegian Defence Estates Agency.

Digitalisation and sustainability are also factors contributing to this trend. This entails that external consultants and advisors play an instrumental role in advancing expertise and knowledge on behalf of end-users and clients. Garda Sikring is increasingly involved as consultants, collaborating with advisory firms and clients to elevate expertise and identify optimal solutions for physical security. Through partnerships and alliances, Garda Sikring can assist in identifying the most appropriate measures for each specific request, ensuring that overall security requirements are met in the most effective manner possible.

Just as we continually update our software and protective measures for digital security, it is equally crucial to periodically review our physical security to assess its sufficiency and alignment with contemporary threat landscapes. What may have sufficed as security measures in the past may now be outdated. It is therefore vital to conduct regular, comprehensive risk and vulnerability analyses, which also evaluate physical security measures.

Erik and Kai highlight that physical security has long held a central position in Europe, and trends from Europe in recent years have begun to take root in Norway. They elaborate:

The need for continuous, around-the-clock access to areas without on-site personnel necessitates a combination of physical security and technology to achieve cost-effectiveness and accessibility concurrently. As one ventures into Europe, it becomes apparent that the trend of physical security has been well-established for many years, with agile solutions developed over time to maintain accessible, secure urban spaces that also prioritise life, health, and infrastructure. The world and the threat landscape are in constant flux, and trends from Europe have also gained traction in Norway over the past decade.

Most would likely agree that awareness surrounding this subject has increased significantly following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On the specific question of whether Garda Sikring has observed increased demand since the escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in February 2022, Erik and Kai assert that the Russian invasion in February 2022 marked a turning point for Europe.

The distant threat suddenly became immediate and palpable overnight. This has implications for military installations and critical infrastructure, including communication networks, water supplies, and power sources.

All these facets fall within the core purview of Garda Sikring, and we have witnessed a surge in inquiries from entities within these categories. Elevated security requirements, personnel screening, and approval, combined with tailor-made solutions for each individual mission, represent some of the elements that followed in the wake of the outbreak of war.


Garda Sikring is organising a High-Security Seminar in Oslo on March 14, 2023, where participants will have the opportunity to gain insights into the current threat landscape and the latest developments in physical security. Agenda Risk will also be participating and will provide further insights into the threat landscape at the seminar.

For those interested in attending the seminar, please contact Garda Sikring at seminar@gardasikring.no.