Sweden is set to join the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence as a Contributing Participant. This cooperation format at the knowledge hub is open for non-NATO nations.
“Sweden joining the Centre as a Contributing Participant will enhance cyber security cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. Swedish technical experts have already contributed remarkably to the world’s largest live-fire international cyber defence exercise Locked Shields that the Centre organizes,” noted Colonel Artur Suzik, Director of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. He highlighted the importance of such cooperation as cyber security is a global issue that does not stop at NATO borders.
“We recognise the successful work of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, particularly its role as a training facility as well as its important contributions to the ongoing discussion on international and legal issues,” said State Secretary Jan Salestrand of Swedish Ministry of Defence. “Through closer cooperation with the Centre, Sweden wishes to contribute to the regional development of cyber defence and international cyber security.” Salestrand emphasised that the recently adopted Swedish Defence Bill states that Sweden should strengthen its cyber defence capabilities and that international cooperation is vital to this end.
It is essential to involve as many nations with advanced cyber defence expertise as possible in the work of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, noted Mikk Marran, the Permanent Secretary of the Estonian Ministry of Defence. “Coping with the cyber world that is not hindered by physical borders requires international cooperation and the Centre embodies that. It already is one of the largest NATO Centres of Excellence in terms of number of nations involved,” Marran said. He added that Sweden adds value to the Centre’s synthesis of cyber security knowledge.
The Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence is a NATO-accredited knowledge hub focused on interdisciplinary applied research and development as well as consultations, trainings and exercises in the field of cyber security. The Centre’s mission is to enhance capability, cooperation and information-sharing between NATO, Allies and Partners in cyber defence. The Centre is staffed and financed by sponsoring nations and contributing participants.
Membership of the Centre is open to all Allies. Currently, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States have signed on as Sponsoring Nations. Austria has joined the Centre as a Contributing Participant, the status for non-NATO members of the NATO CCDCOE.
The successful student participants in a cyber defence competition called Küberpähkel (Cybernut) learned today about defence sector and the state’s cyber defence capabilities
The day of learning about cyber defence started at the Ministry of Defence, where by way of an introduction to the day’s events, they received an overview of the general security situation and cyber field as a part of security, and the ministry’s activities in increasing cyber defence.
The day then continued at the Staff and Signals Battalion, where the youngsters were acquainted with the Defence Forces’ view of the cyber field and were briefed on the Defence Forces cyber lab. They also had an opportunity to get an overview of cyber conscription.
In the afternoon, the competition winners visited the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence centre of Excellence and the State Information System Authority’s activities in defending critical information infrastructure.
Küberpähkel is a cyber defence themed competition organized for basic school and upper secondary school students by the Ministry of Defence and the Education Information Technology Foundation. The first, web-based round of the competition tested the participants’ theoretical knowledge. The 25 best made it into the final round, where they had to solve practical challenges; for instance, participants had to combat malware and search network traffic for unencrypted data.
The greatest number of students who advanced to the second round were from Tartu. Victory also went to Tartu – a senior from Miina Härma Upper Secondary School, Johannes Kadak. Second place went to Andres Jõgi; third, to Gregor Eesmaa. Both attend Jaan Poska Upper Secondary School in Tartu. The top five finishers at the competition took part in today’s Cyber Defence day geared to students.
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, met with the Ambassador of Moldova to Estonia, Victor Guzun, at Ärma and presented him with Class I Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana. This is acknowledgment of the commitment and dedication shown by Ambassador Guzun in promoting relations between Estonia and Moldova as well as the initiation of various co-operation projects between the local governments of the two countries.
Minister of Defence Mr. Sven Mikser awarded the Director of Strategy, Policy Partnering and Capabilities (J5/8) of U.S. European Command Maj. Gen. Randy Kee with the First Class of the Cross of Merit of the Estonian Ministry of Defence.
The award was presented for the excellent contribution to the development of bilateral defence co-operation between the United States of America and Estonia. Maj. Gen. Kee has initiated and developed defence initiatives which have significantly strengthen the assurance and deterrence measures in the region.
The President, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, flew to Berlin today where he will be a keynote speaker at a round table that will focus on Russia's current policy; the event is being organised by the influential Italian think tank Reset-DoC or Reset-Dialogues On Civilisations, which focuses on international relations, and the German Association for Foreign Policy.
"Estonia and the United States of America are both NATO and bilateral allies; we can rely on each other's support and hope for mutual assistance, should we need it," said President Ilves at a meeting with the US Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter, who was on a working visit to Tallinn.
The Estonian Minister of Defence Mr. Sven Mikser discussed with the US Secretary of Navy Mr. Ray Mabus current security situation in the Baltic Sea region. The solidarity of NATO allies was emphasized. Mr. Mikser also expressed gratitude for the US military contribution in ensuring the security of Estonia.