From 19 to 21 February, General Manager Gijsbers visited Estonia as a keynote speaker at the First Annual Conference on Cyber Defence, “Cyber Strategy Formulation and Leadership” hosted by the Baltic Defence College in Tartu. Subsequently, he visited the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCD COE), the Estonian Cyber Defence League, and finished his tour with meetings at the Estonian Ministry of Defence. Cyber Strategy Formulation and Leadership ConferenceThe focus of the Conference was on cyber strategy formulation and implementation, relevant capability development, leadership and command and control. For this inaugural, GM was invited to provide a keynote right after the word of welcome by MGEN Vaikšnoras, the Commandant of the Baltic Defence College. During his speech, GM highlighted based on his broad experience 5 elements of a cyber-strategy framework, as well as the Agency’s multinational projects and the opportunities offered in the move of the NATO CIS School from Italy to Portugal, in terms of developing cyber training. "Networks know no borders and therefore Cyber Security cannot be a purely national task: it must be through a comprehensive approach and implemented internationally," Mr Gijsbers said in conclusion. Visit to NATO’s Cyber Defence Centre of ExcellenceOn 21 February, GM visited Tallinn where he was welcomed to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence by Commander CCD COE, COL Artur Suzik. Subsequently, he was provided a Cyber Lab tour of the Cyber Defence Unit and met with LGEN Johannes Kert, Adviser to the Ministry of Defence of Estonia, and LTC (OF-4) Andres Hairk, Chief of CIS (J6) Department, Headquarter of the Estonian Defence Forces. The delegations discussed NATO’s expertise in Cyber Defence with attention to the mandates of the NCI Agency and NATO CCD COE. In line with his speech, GM highlighted the need for education and training for the individuals as key enablers, but also emphasized that these skills need an exercise environment to ensure that the collective benefits of education and training will be achieved. Cyber Defence training is a team effort under the co-ordination of the Agency with strong input of the centre.Exploring further cooperation with the MoDThe General Manager’s visit to Estonia was concluded by a visit to the Estonian Ministry of Defence where he was welcomed by Mr Mikk Marran, Permanent Secretary of Defence of the Estonian Ministry of Defence, and Mr Taimar Peterkop, Undersecretary for Legal and Administrative Affairs.
As Estonian industry has demonstrated increased interest in the BOA programme, the visit had an exploratory character and opportunities for increased cooperation between Estonia and the NCI Agency were discussed.