Step by step to a holistic perspective of the defence ecosystem

Intervju med Hugo Hedén, Senior Cyber associate, Cynode

Hugo Hedén, Senior Cyber Associate at Cynode.

Early Life:

Hugo’s formative years were significantly influenced by the family’s frequent moves both within Sweden and abroad due to his father’s role as an Officer in the military. This familial influence naturally led Hugo to undertake conscription service in the Swedish Army, followed by three years at Military Academy Karlberg. A tri-service military academy where he shifted service from the Army to the Air Force and began to develop a nuanced understanding of military operations. His focus during this time was a mix of the technological aspects and on the broader implications of leadership and communication in warfare. This early exposure to strategic thinking laid the foundation for his future pursuits and instilled in him the importance of data sharing in both military and civilian communication.


Hugo’s military education culminated in his thesis exploring the “not-Petya” ransomware, from military strategic and communications point of view, “not-Petya” didn’t encrypt machines purely for ransom purposes but rather to disrupt computers irreversibly.  It’s spread rapidly became global, impacting shipping, hospitals, and production, it was as effective as a full-scale war, but without a single shot fired. He found it fascinating that with all the highly sophisticated systems we have in place, military and civilian organisations, large and small can be compromised by supply chain attacks or even something as simple as a human clicking on poorly formatted phishing link. Hugo saw the lack of a holistic perspective.

After graduating as a Second Lieutenant, Hugo continued with a Master’s in Defence Systems, a programme designed for individuals with either a security or engineering background examining the context, structures processes and people that deliver defence output. His studies were comprehensive and multifaceted, covering areas such as cyber operations in antagonistic environments, the basics of networks, IT protocols, and an introduction to Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups.

This academic period was enriched by his part-time and subsequent full-time work at Paliscope, where he engaged in practical cyber exercises and deepened his understanding of the field, meeting key figures like Sebastian and others who would eventually influence his career path.

Work Life and Hobbies:

Upon nearing the completion of his Master’s, Hugo transitioned into a role as an intern at a Swedish Governments Office and the Ministry of Defence, eventually securing a full-time position. His work at the Department for Acquisition, Research and Development focusing on bilateral government relations, required meticulous planning and a deep understanding of complex processes and diplomacy with Hugo often navigating, both national and international legislation. Outside of his professional life, Hugo is an avid hunter and enjoys spending time in nature, reflecting his appreciation for the contrasts in life. He’s also comfortable in the gym and finds relaxation in cooking and DIY projects, indicating a well-rounded character with diverse interests enjoying the experience of contrasting environments.

Career Goals, Expectations:

Hugo’s career aspirations are driven by a desire to make a significant impact in the field of cyber security. He aims to transition his knowledge from a governmental perspective to a business one and become an experienced and independent consultant.  Hugo made an interesting observation during his studies “we designed an open way to share information (the internet) that is inherently insecure, and we are working backwards struggling to secure it, by now we should have designed something secure with a way of sharing information with only those that need to be part of the communication stream.”

He values staying curious and continuously learning from various sources and finds the most useful source is his more experienced colleagues.

Hugo is proud of his military service, academic achievements, and the trust placed in him by the Ministry at a young age and was humbled by the experience. He appreciates real-time feedback, collaborative environments, and the opportunity to contribute to meaningful projects. His goal is to look back on the success of Cynode and know he played a large part in its build-up.

First Month at Cynode:

Hugo’s first month at Cynode has been a whirlwind of activity and adaptation. Moving from the public sector’s cyclical tasks to a dynamic company environment, he’s felt the ambition and drive of his new team and is looking forward to finally settling into the new office environment, proving his worth, and fully embracing the fast-paced, ambitious culture of Cynode. This transition marks a significant step in his career, and he’s eager to see where this new path will lead, all while staying curious and engaged in the ever-evolving field of cyber security.



Cynode Press contacts:

Sebastian Rosendahl

CEO, Cynode

T: +46 (0)70 968 54 03


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