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President Ilves speaks about cyber security in Dublin

President Ilves speaks about cyber security in Dublin © Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia


President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who is currently on a working visit to Ireland, today gave a presentation on cyber defence at a conference organised by the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA).

President Ilves gave a presentation entitled "When Small Means Big or Why You Can't Bribe a Computer" at the conference, in which he discussed various cyber issues and introduced Estonia's achievement in the sphere of E-governance and cyber defence.

"When Estonia restored its independence in the beginning of the 1990's, we faced a fundamental challenge: what should such a small nation do to become competitive at the international level? Deliberate popularisation of computers and the Internet was one of the answers," President Ilves stated.

President Ilves also spoke of the threats – organised cyber attacks, launched against the Republic of Estonia and its society in spring 2007, which resulted for a limited period in the paralysation of the operation of state agencies, the media, the banking sector and even the rescue service.

"We must not underestimate cyber threats," President Ilves told the audience, pointing out that when critical infrastructures are attacked, not only are there devastating consequences from a security aspect, but that cyber espionage also threatens private sector investments in research and development activities.

President Ilves has emphasised before, in a number of reputable meetings and in earlier presentations of his, the importance of co-operation between private and public sector for the purposes of ensuring cyber security.

The Head of State suggested that the European Union – Ireland being one of its Member States – be more resolute in including cyber security on its agenda.

"Informed co-operation within the European Commission and the development of trans-European cyber strategy should be the first steps," President Ilves emphasised.

The Estonian Head of State will also meet the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and the Prime Minister, Enda Kenny in Dublin.

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