Prime Minister Kallas opened the NATO Cyber Defence Conference

15.04.2021 | 19:26

Stenbock House, 15 April 2021 – At today’s NATO Cyber Defence Pledge Conference organised by Estonia, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas stated that the movement of work and social life from the physical world to the virtual world has created more opportunities for our adversaries to take advantage of. It is therefore important that NATO continues to develop cyber defence to be better prepared for new challenges.
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The prime minister said that the intensity and frequency of cyber attacks have increased worldwide and state-backed hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in the information systems of allies. “Over the past year, attacks on health care and vaccine research institutions have been particularly worrying. Cyber incidents against vital services and governments can have dire consequences. It is important to remember that cyberspace has no borders and regional threats can easily become global threats in the field of cyber security,” said Prime Minister Kallas in the opening remarks at the conference.

“In 2016, NATO Allies recognised cyberspace as the fifth area of operations after land, air, water, and space, and accepted the Cyber Defence Pledge. Since then, we have made great progress in the field of cyber security,” said Kallas.

According to the prime minister, in order to maintain deterrence and defence, NATO must promote innovation and introduce new technologies. At the same time, we need to be sure that new technologies and their supply chain are protected from external interference.

According to Kallas, close international co-operation, further development of NATO–EU cyber co-operation, and the involvement of academia and the private sector are needed to address the threats posed by the cyberspace to develop a more integrated approach to cyber security.

“Training and exercises are necessary not only at the level of experts, but also at the level of strategic decision-making. The international cyber defence exercise Locked Shields currently taking place in Tallinn also offers the country’s higher-level decision-makers the opportunity to test their readiness in coping with the crisis. It is also important to support the Eastern Partners, especially Georgia and Ukraine, to develop their cyber defence capabilities,” said Kallas.

The high-level NATO Cyber Defence Pledge conference organised by Estonia focuses on strategic, political, and practical issues related to the development of the alliance’s cyber capabilities. At the conference, top experts from member countries will be sharing knowledge on supply chains, nationally critical infrastructures, and cyber security of NATO operations.

Photos from the prime minister’s presentation:

Video from the prime minister’s presentation:

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