Estonian cyber security know-how showcased in Balkans

President Alar Karis in Albania, attending a cyber drill exercise organized by the eGA and CyberExer.
President Alar Karis in Albania, attending a cyber drill exercise organized by the eGA and CyberExer. Source: eGA

President Alar Karis accompanied a delegation to Albania this week which brought to bear Estonia's expertise in cyber security to that country.

The official visit also showcased Estonian firm Cyberexer Technologies, and was also aimed at the neighboring states of Montenegro and North Macedonia.

The activity provided 30 participants with practical experience in defending IT systems which have come under intense cyber attacks. The exercise environment was provided by NATO-awarded Estonian cyber security company, Cybexer Technologies.

Merle Maigre, Project Team Lead from the Estonian e-Governance Academy (eGA), co-organizing the event, said: "Our everyday lives are dependent on the resilience of our cyberspace."

"Practicing response to cyber attacks in a crisis simulated environment is a good way to expand the cyber safety of our critical infrastructures and services. This exercise is an excellent opportunity for the training audience to practice inter-agency cooperation and information sharing," Maigre went on, via an eGA press release.

The live fire cyber drill ran June 6-9 and the eGA and Cybexer Technologies project came as part of the EU-funded Rapid Response Project, aimed at boosting cyber resilience in the Western Balkans, and focused on enhancing the capability of Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia to respond to cyber attacks.

EU Ambassador to Albania, Christiane Hohmann said: "Joint efforts are needed to strengthen the resilience of cyberspace of the Western Balkan partners, and to raise the region's public authorities' awareness of cyber security. Engaging the best knowledge and experts, the EU supports Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia in achieving this aim."

President of Estonia Alar Karis observed the exercise as part of Pan official working visit to Albania, and was joined by his Albanian counterpart Bajram Begaj.

General Director of National Authority on Electronic Certification and Cyber Security of Albania, Igli Tafa noted the unique and realistic nature of exercises like this, not least because the country has recently experienced cyber security threats and issues itself.

The exercise received EU funding and as noted was managed by the eGA.

The eGA ias also leading implementation of a comprehensive regional project entitled "EU Support to Western Balkans Cybersecurity Capacity Building", to run from March 2023 to February 2026 and supporting the key institutions in the entire region on its path to greater cyber resilience.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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