Built upon the encouraging results of last year, the 4th edition of NATO Cyber Defence Smart Defence Projects Conference (CD SDP), "NATO–EU Cooperative Cyber Defence Capability Building", was held on 19 April at the Military Academy in Lisbon (Portugal), with a focus on how smart defence, pooling and sharing can foster cooperation, transformation and innovation.
RADM Chief of Staff Thomas Daum and Mr. Jean-Paul Massart, Education and Training Service Line Chief, were part of the debating panels and represented the Agency at the event – intended as an opportunity to explore new ideas towards a more synergetic approach between all the NATO Cyber Defence Smart Defence Projects. With that view, enhancing cooperation with industry and academia to transformation, innovation and capability building and reinforcing the NATO-EU complementarity of efforts on the field of Cyber Security and Cyber Defence were discussed – cyber being a key area of cooperation under the common set of proposals endorsed by NATO and EU Councils on 6 December 2016.
Commenting on the value of NATO-EU cooperation in a digital era marked by a rapidly evolving threat landscape, Dr Daum put forward the idea of making the NCI Academy - the education and training hub for NATO's Digital Endeavour - a "shared lighthouse", serving as a focal point for the NATO-EU collaboration on the field of Education Training Exercises and Evaluation (ETE) and the main source of high quality Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) and Cyber Training for the two organizations.
In light of the commonality of tech used, threats shared and set of forces available, a transformational initiative of key importance would then be the establishment of "joint cyber 'career paths'" – to be coordinated between the EU and NATO so as to make deployment to both organizations easy.
"Through the idea of the cyber 'career path' […] and the Academy as a focal point of joint NATO-EU training we will significantly strengthen a mission that both the EU and NATO share – defending our citizens against a new generation of threats," emphasized Dr Daum.
The diversity and scope of participants' knowledge, profiles and expertise - from civilian to military backgrounds, from government to private sectors, from national to International participants – proved crucial to a rich and intense discussion, which provided lots of food for thought on the next steps NATO and the EU need to make together towards a unified and coordinated Cyber Security and Defence posture.
The summary of the conference is available here.