Estonia has established a dedicated cyberdefense infrastructure and implemented new policies that are serving as models for other allied nations gearing up for potential cyber attacks. The Estonian measures come in the wake of the Baltic nation undergoing a severe cyber attack in 2007, which ultimately led to Estonia hosting the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence.
Estonia’s continuing efforts at cyberdefense were outlined by Lt. Gen. Johannes Kert, military representative of the Estonian Delegation, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center. Speaking during the Wednesday panel at the AFCEA International Cyber Symposium, being held June 24-25 in Baltimore, Gen. Kert described his country’s efforts and issued a warning to others about the importance of preparation.
Estonia established a state information systems agency that included a national computer emergency response team, a cyberdefense department and a critical infrastructure department along with a “department of after-check” designed to determine if tasks were fulfilled and done effectively. The creation of a cyber laboratory was critical, as it supports all government institution as well as NATO’s center of excellence in Estonia. Gen. Kert noted that Estonia is cooperating with U.S. national laboratories in cybersecurity.
The country also mapped its critical information infrastructure and developed training and exercises for critical survivability. The general emphasized the importance of training with a warning to other nations.
“There are no good solutions when you are under cyber attack; there are only bad and very bad solutions,” Gen. Kert said. “You have to train, train and train beforehand.”