NITEC2016

August 1, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Adm. Michael Rogers, USN, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency (l), talks about NATO’s enduring quest for cyber solutions and effective means of deterring attacks during a panel discussion at NITEC 2016 cyber conference held in Tallinn, Estonia, in June.

As NATO grapples with mounting security threats—both conventional and irregular—the concerned alliance is tussling to deliver a unified strategy for information warfare and dominance in the face of increasingly sophisticated cyberspace technologies exploiting its vulnerabilities.

The enduring quest for cyber solutions and effective means of deterring attacks dominated discussions and presentations in June at the annual NITEC 2016 conference in Tallinn, Estonia.

June 9, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
NATO officials highlight several business initiatives to meet future needs during the NITEC 2016 cyber conference in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

Industry said, “Show me the money,” and NATO obliged.

Officials shared several key business initiatives to meet future NATO needs during the three-day NITEC 2016 cyber conference, informing industry members about 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) worth of upcoming business opportunities and contract work.

June 9, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Katrin Suder, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Defense says cybersecurity is a game changer. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

Cybersecurity reaches far beyond processes to make doing business easier—it’s the “game changer” to counter real consequences that threaten everyday life, said Katrin Suder, state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Defense.

“Cyber attacks are no more science fiction,” Suder said. “They are real and will become even more critical in the future. The trajectory [of safeguarding networks] is not going in the right direction.” 

June 7, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves addresses attendees on the inaugural day of the three-day NITEC 2016 conference in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

NATO is dangling roughly 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in funding for future cyber-based initiatives to match—and then surpass—the increasingly sophisticated attacks against its 28-member alliance, officials announced Tuesday on the inaugural day of the NITEC 2016 conference.

Increased Russian aggression, instability in Europe’s south, the Syrian refugee crisis and evolving cyberthreats all have contributed toward new strategic realities, but also jockey for the same pot of limited financial resources—mobilizing the alliance to strengthen collaborations with industry for vital solutions. 

June 8, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Defense Deparment CIO Terry Halvorsen addresses the NITEC 2016 conference in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

The key to cybersecurity woes might be found in the relationships created between government and industry, the Defense Department’s chief information officer said. 

Partnerships might be the "secret weapon to success," particularly in the IT world, Terry Halvorsen offered during his keynote address on day two of the NITEC 2016 cyber conference in Tallinn, Estonia, presented by the NCI Agency and AFCEA Europe and organized in cooperation with the Estonian Ministry of Defense.

June 8, 2016
By Sandra Jontz

The world needs at least 1.5 million cybersecurity professionals who do not exist—a labor shortage created by the increase in frequency and severity of cyber attacks and employers all fishing from the same pond, said Michael Cameron, vice president for business development, cyber and cybersecurity at Leidos, at the NITEC 2016 cyber conference.

Solutions exist to help bridge the gap, including a detailed effort developed by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies, a collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education.

June 7, 2016
by Sandra Jontz
Lt. Gen. Riho Terras, commander of Estonian Defense Forces, warns that Europe is too reactionary to world events while speaking at the NITEC 2016 cyber conference in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

Europe is asleep at the wheel and needs an awakening before it crashes, warned Lt. Gen. Riho Terras, commander of Estonian Defense Forces. 

The reactionary nature of the continent’s militaries has caught leaders unawares far too many times already, and forces no longer can afford to leave proactive measures to someone else, Gen. Terras shared during the inaugural day of NITEC 2016, a cyber conference being held this week in Tallinn, Estonia. 

“What happens in the world comes as a surprise for Europe,” said Gen. Terras, who pulled no punches when laying out examples of when European leaders were caught off guard.

June 7, 2016
By Sandra Jontz
Ingvar Parnamae, undersecretary for defense investments for the Estonian Ministry of Defense shares some of the Baltic nation's defense challenges during NITEC 2016, running June 7-9 in Tallinn, Estonia. Photo by Marcos Fernandez Marin, NCI Agency

Small nation-state budgets aren’t always such a bad thing, offered Ingvar Parnamae, undersecretary for defense investments for the Estonian Ministry of Defense. 

It forces leaders to make good choices—it is hoped.