Throughout the years, CyCon has established itself as a prominent multidisciplinary conference, introducing keynotes and panels focusing on the technical, legal, policy, strategy and military perspectives of cyber defence and security. This is undoubtedly thanks to the amount of high-quality original academic research presented at the conference.

Each year, more than 600 decision-makers, opinion-leaders, law and technology experts from the governments, military, academia and industry of nearly 50 countries meet at CyCon to address current cyber security challenges in an interdisciplinary manner.  Over two and a half days, experts approach the conference’s key themes in keynote speeches, plenaries, focused sessions and breakout discussions. CyCon’s workshops allow for in-depth discussions on specific topics related to technology and malware development, education and training issues, legal aspects, etc., or provide practical hands-on training.

The 17th International Conference on Cyber Conflict themed “The Next Step” will take place on 27-30 May 2025 in Tallinn, Estonia. Follow the latest updates on CyCon website.

Past events

CyCon 2024: Over the Horizon

The theme for CyCon 2024 “Over the Horizon” denoted the need not only to look at the forthcoming technological trends on the horizon but also to start forecasting beyond that horizon due to accelerating rates of change. The Conference reflected on how rapidly evolving emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous weapons and space technology are reshaping conflicts and how conflicts, such as the war against Ukraine are reshaping our digital environment, including bringing challenges for its legal framework. The four-day multidisciplinary conference brought around 100 distinguished cyber experts on stage. The welcoming address of the conference was made by Alar Karis, President of Estonia. The keynote speakers included David van Weel, NATO Assistant Secretary-General for Innovation, Hybrid and Cyber, Nathaniel Fick, U.S. Ambassador at Large for Cyberspace and Digital Policy, Dr Paul Vixie, one of the pioneers of the Internet; Amy Hogan-Burney, General Manager and Associate General Counsel for Cybersecurity Policy & Protection, Microsoft and Lieutenant General Michael Vetter, Director General for Cyber/IT and Chief Information Officer in the German Ministry of Defence and Prof. Herb Lin at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and at the Hoover Institution, both at Stanford University.

CyCon 2023: Meeting Reality

CyCon 2023 addressed the assumptions about conflict in cyberspace and related technologies, including their role in peacetime as well as crisis and conflict. Will our policies and legal frameworks stand the test of time? Which technologies have proved to be game changers, and which have been overrated? The Conference invited the discussion of topics that might have appeared niche or theoretical just a few years ago, but now have taken on real-life significance with the return of war to Europe. Over the course of four days, more than fifty speakers, including keynote speakers such as David van Weel, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges; Kemba Eneas Walden, The White House’s Acting National Cyber Director; and Ross J. Anderson, Professor of Security Engineering at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh, discussed these questions. The conference also hosted representatives from the cyber commanders, esteemed universities and industry partners.

CyCon 2022: Keep Moving!

CyCon 2022 theme was Keep Moving! Understood both literally and figuratively, it invited discussions about cyber security in transportation and in supply chains, autonomous technologies and automation, but also encouraged to think about ways how to coordinate our joint response to the challenges brought by new technologies and how to avoid being paralyzed by the next global crisis. Also, in the current situation where the cyber domain has been is in the spotlight because of its impact in warfare, it is exceedingly important to discuss possible outcomes and developments. There was more than 600 speakers and participants gathered over four days to engage in hands-on technical and policy workshops, discuss the newest in the legal, policy and technical aspects of cyber security and defence or contemplate the future of NATO and international cooperation.

CyCon 2021: Going Viral

CyCon 2021's central theme was Going Viral. It alluded to the implications of human crises (such as the 2020 pandemic) for cyber security and cyberspace. At a more abstract level, it aimed to encourage discussions on the impact of the phenomena of fast proliferation and high unpredictability in cyberspace. Whether they concern old threats such as malware or new trends affecting cyberspace such as information campaigns, these phenomena have major real-life implications. We need to acknowledge those, study them and strive to use them for our common benefit.

CyCon 2020: Virtual Book Launch

For the first time in CyCon’s history, the 600-participant cyber conference hosted in Tallinn, Estonia, could not take place. Similar to all the public events, it had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CyCon has traditionally been blessed with a large volume of high quality academic papers. In order to show appreciation towards the work of our authors, CCDCOE is holding a virtual presentation of CyCon proceedings despite having no physical conference accompanying it. The proceedings of the 12th annual International Conference on Cyber Conflict (CyCon) will be presented by their authors at a virtual book launch taking place on 26th – 28th of May, 4PM-6PM EEST (Eastern European Summer Time). The event is available to the public and registration is open as of now. The researchers contributing to ‘20/20 Vision: The Next Decade’ book will explore how cyberspace and cyber conflict will evolve in the 2020s. What are the emerging technologies, policies and legal frameworks that will shape the future at societal and personal levels? How can we ensure that the cyberspace, continuously open to technological innovation, will be more transparent, predictable and safe, still reflecting our values? The book is a collection of papers commissioned by CCDCOE through a call for papers, to be presented at the CyCon 2020 conference on 26-29 May 2020 in Tallinn. Reflecting the three traditional CyCon tracks – technical, strategic and legal – 19 papers bring on new ideas and reinterpret traditional concepts. The topics range from artificial intelligence, autonomous weapons or cloud services through energy distribution networks and security of industrial control systems (ICS) to responses available to states under international law.

CyCon 2019: Silent Battle

CyCon 2019 brought to Tallinn more than 600 key experts and decision-makers from the global cyber defence community. The 11th CyCon evolved around the main theme of "Silent Battle": for a techie it was about vulnerabilities, exploits and patches; for a policy advisor, about detection and attribution; for a lawyer, about responsibility; and for a military, about situational awareness. Keynote speakers included H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid, the President of Estonia, Dr. Antonio Missiroli, NATO Assistant Secretary General on Emerging Security Challenges, Adm Manfred Nielson, NATO’ s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, Mr Kentaro Sonoura, a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan, Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincetelli, the Buttner Chair at the Department of EECS, Tom Burt of Microsoft. Highlights of the CyCon 2019 included the official declaration of Estonia’s position on the applicability of international law in cyberspace and cyber operations in the opening address by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid. One of the practical deliverables of the CyCon was the Interactive Cyber Law Toolkit, a web-based resource for legal professionals and students, available online free of charge.  CyCon Cyber Commander’s panel presented the cyber commanders of Germany, Italy and the United Stated European Command and Admiral (ret) Michael Rogers discussing military elements in cyber. Information operations and cyber-enabled information operations were constantly brought up as two sides of the influence operations taking place in cyberspace.

CyCon 2018: Maximising Effects

The 10th anniversary event focused on the theme of maximising effects in the cyber domain. CyCon 2018 brought to Tallinn around 700 cyber experts from more than 40 nations. In partnership with Munich Security Conference (MSC) CCDCOE also hosted the Cyber Security Summit (CSS) in Tallinn the same week.

CyCon 2017: Defending the Core

The 9th International Conference on Cyber Conflict under the theme of Defending the Core recognised that digitalisation has both transformed and disrupted our way of life, bringing new security risks to technological dependencies together with its innumerable social and economic benefits.

CyCon 2016: Cyber Power

The 8th International Conference on Cyber Conflict focused on ‘cyber power’ as one of the core elements of relations between different stakeholders and will discuss how the traditional concept of ‘power’ applies to cyberspace.

CyCon 2015: Architectures in Cyberspace

The 7th International Conference on Cyber Conflict focused on the construction of the Internet and its potential future development. This year’s topic asked what cyberspace is and will be in the coming years as well as what are its characteristics relevant for cyber security.

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CyCon 2014: Active Cyber Defence

The 6th International Conference on Cyber Conflict brought together more than 450 people to discuss active cyber defence. The conference ran in two parallel tracks with one concentrating on the technical issues and another on the law and strategy questions.

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CyCon 2013: Cyber Conflict

The 5th CyCon concentrated on technical, strategic and legal implications of using automatic methods in cyber conflicts.

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CyCon 2012

The 4th conference focused on military and paramilitary activities in cyberspace. The topic was explored from strategic, conceptual, political, legal and technical perspectives within two parallel tracks, the Law & Policy Track and the Technical Track. Strategy Breakout Session and multiple pre-conference workshops completed the comprehensive programme offered.

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CyCon 2011: ICCC

3rd International Conference on Cyber Conflict focused on the defensive and offensive aspects of cyber forces, combining different views on cyber defence and operations in current threat environments. More than 380 experts gathered in Tallinn, Estonia, to participate in the annual event. Presentations treated the legal aspects of cyber conflict as well as the technical ones, including recent issues such as Stuxnet and iBots. The conference concluded with a presentation of the NATO cyber defence policy that was endorsed by the NATO defence ministers.

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CyCon 2010: Cyber Conflict

The conference brought together more than 300 computer security specialists from 39 countries. Experts from government, private sector and the academia discussed cyber security in three parallel conference tracks: strategy, law and technical. Keynote speakers included renowned cryptographer Bruce Schneier and former cyber security adviser to the US president, Melissa Hathaway.

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Legal & Policy Conference

Centre's second conference focused on the legal and policy aspects of cyber conflict, inviting experts to discuss the frameworks for international cyber security. It was aimed at promoting closer collaboration among the international community of leaders and experts; sharing current initiatives and best practices of cyber conflict management; developing a common understanding of the multidisciplinary and layered approach to cyber conflict management and initiating an international dialogue.

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Conference on Cyber Warfare

The Conference on Cyber Warfare covered the emerging field of cyber warfare in theory and in practice, from both strategic and tactical perspectives. Luminaries such as Mikko Hypponen, James Lewis, Jose Nazario, Felix Leder, Tillmann Werner, Roel of Temmingh, Amit Yoran, and Billy Rios highlighted the program among other key experts.