News November 8, 2019

Cyber Power in Hybrid Warfare Symposium emphasized cooperation and common situational awareness

Hybrid CoE’s Community of Interest in Strategy & Defence (COI S&D) organized its first “Cyber Power in Hybrid Warfare Symposium” in Helsinki on 6-8 November 2019. The Symposium gathered together representatives from 23 EU and NATO member states, security and defence experts from relevant ministries and governmental agencies, as well as partners from the private sector and EU and NATO institutions.

The Symposium examined cyber power and the cyber domain in the context of hybrid warfare/conflict. Particular attention was paid to possible gaps in the interface between hybrid warfare/conflict and the cyber domain. A summary report on the event will be published later this year.

The main takeaways from the Symposium were:

  • The EU and NATO have established a good basis for countering cyber and hybrid threats through developing policies, establishing institutions and developing capabilities. However, NATO and the EU are only as strong as their member states.
  • Comprehensive, whole-of-society cooperation is needed to meet the challenge posed by hybrid threats within the cyber domain. This entails cooperation between public-private, civil-military, authorities and civil society.
  • Situational awareness is a challenge. Even partners do not necessarily share the same situational awareness picture and understanding of the threat.
  • Cyber has become a part of collective security and should be addressed by international rules and regulations accordingly.
  • Protection in the cyber domain is as important as on land, sea and air.
  • New technologies have the capacity to shape public opinion to the extent that it has a political influence. This approach is used both by non-state actors and states.
  • Cyber as a man-made domain is still new and hence we need more experience in relation to it, and a better understanding of how to secure it more effectively.

The Symposium was part of the “EU Combined Cyber and Hybrid Week” held in Helsinki under the auspices of the Finnish EU Presidency. The week created synergies by combining three independent events – the Symposium itself, the EDA’s Project Team Cyber Meeting and the EDA’s Cyber Ranges Demo Event.

For further information, please contact Dr. Josef Schröfl, Deputy Director, COI S&D, Hybrid CoE, [email protected].

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