Beginning of June marked a significant point in Centre’s history when with the accession of Czech Republic, France and United Kingdom as the new Sponsoring Nations the number of NATO nations taking part of the Centre rose to 14. In addition Austria became the first ever Contributing Participant or non-NATO member at the Centre and Turkey has sent their researcher to work as a voluntary contribution which raises the number of nations involved in our work to 17.
This is a clear indication of the importance of cyber defence research and cooperation among the nations, not to mention a compliment to the Centre’s activities so far. Our name reflects our mission which is to work on cyber defence issues by bringing experts together to do research, conduct exercises, run courses and share information. In short to cooperate and share the knowledge.
Cooperation is definitely needed because cyberspace is an international network with interconnected computers and world spanning networks with global usage, with global effects and with global challenges. It is not something that is contained to the borders of your country, it is truly global. Thus no one in the world is able to deal with cyber issues on their own. No one is able to get the full benefit of modern communication without being exposed to the threats and challenges.
We are facing challenges in the technical field with the attacks getting cleverer and more sophisticated. We are facing challenges in the area of strategy trying to define the roles, responsibilities and actions of different actors. We are facing challenges in the legal framework, trying to understand what is lawful, do the existing laws apply in cyber and where do the boundaries lie. Since we all rely more and more on the computer networks we need to work on these areas more and more and we need to work together.
Having now four more nations contributing actively to the Centre’s work, we are giving our share into the common defence effort because having new nations does not merely mean new flags in front of our house but the experts from all these countries. We are a knowledge hub and the best way to gather the knowledge is to have a big community around to talk to. Our community will hopefully soon grow even more because Greece and Turkey are also in the process of joining the Centre with a Turkish staff member already working in Tallinn. We are also hoping to widen the non-NATO members circle with Finland by the end of this year.
Who will come next? Only time will tell.