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President Kaljulaid: decision makers should learn more about cyber sphere

President Kaljulaid: decision makers should learn more about cyber sphere
President Kaljulaid stressed that human factor and lack of basic cyber hygiene are the reasons behind security breaches and incidents also in the future.
© Office of the President

23.11.2017

"Most contemporary politicians admit that the cyber sphere is important, they speak the language etc., and there is genuine political support behind many cyber defence initiatives," stated President Kersti Kaljulaid today in Brussels at the annual European Defence Conference.

"However, the EU CYBRID 2017 exercise in Tallinn showed that although political level decision-makers would be the first to react and make decisions in the event of a cyber attack, their understanding, knowledge and awareness of the nature of cyber incidents is still quite lacking," the Head of State added.

"Along with all the fancy initiatives, cyber defence programs and new institutions that we create, we must not forget that the human factor and basic cyber hygiene continue to be things that will cause security breaches and incidents in the future," said President Kaljulaid.

The developments and challenges of the cyber sphere require us to be ready for all future unknown variables and eventualities, artificial intelligence being one of them, said the President of the Republic. "The last 10 years have shown us incredibly rapid developments in the cyber sphere, and cyber attacks against states are certainly no longer surprising or novel," added President Kaljulaid.

According to the President of the Republic, due to the rapid development of the cyber sphere it would be impossible to get ready for all the possible scenarios or teach decision makers how to respond to specific events, but we could implement cyber hygiene as the very first step.

This morning, the Head of State also met with the current High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, to discuss the upcoming EU summit with the African Union and European neighbourhood policy countries, Estonia's Presidency of the Council of the EU and defence related co-operation in Europe. President Kaljulaid also gave a more detailed overview of her recent visits to Georgia and Africa. According to the President of the Republic, the European Union and African Union could enjoy several co-operation alternatives, both in the sphere of economy, technology and digital development. "I wish to change the perception that Eastern Partnership countries are only interested in co-operation with their eastern neighbours and that they definitely wish to pay more attention to southern countries in the future," stated the Estonian Head of State.

Full text of the speech in English is available HERE.