The US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter who visited Estonia on the country's Victory Day, announced enhanced American cooperation with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE), based in Tallinn.
"We must prepare NATO and our allies for cyber challenges, particularly from Russia. I'm pleased to announce a new American initiative to bolster the center's role in leading our partners towards improved cyber defense," Carter said in Tallinn on Tuesday. The US Department of Defense will work with CCD COE in three main areas: development of cyber defense strategies, critical infrastructure protection planning, and cyber defense posture assessments.
According to reports, cyber defense was also discussed during the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels the next day, and Carter clearly indicated that the Tallinn-based center should take on a more active role in helping allies counter cyber threats.
Estonia experienced a massive cyber attack first hand in 2007 when a number of crucial public and private websites became a target and the normal functioning of the country was crippled for short time. The attack was traced to Russia, but Moscow has always denied it.
CCD COE 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 center is staffed and financed by sponsoring nations and contributing participants. Currently, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, the UK and the US have signed on as sponsoring nations.
Editor: S. Tambur