TALLINN – The defense ministers of the European Union attended on Thursday an informal meeting in Tallin to participate in a cyberattack exercise aimed at addressing technical and political issues required to respond to the increasing threat, according to Estonia’s minister of defense.
Along with the EU ministers, the meeting included EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“The exercise will show the ministers how important it is to be prepared both from the political and technical point of view,” Estonia’s Defense Minister Jüri Luik said upon his arrival.
Luik added: “we want them to understand these quickly developing situations could demand quick political solutions.”
On the other hand, Stoltenberg said it was the first time he had been invited to a cyber security exercise hosted by the EU.
He announced that NATO had also decided to “upgrade EU’s participation in our cyber exercises” to be held later this year.
He said these exercises were called a cyber coalition and that the EU would “fully participate” in one of the “world’s largest cyber security exercises.”
“We are faced with many challenges in the cyber domain,” said Stoltenberg, adding: “in the last year we saw a 60 percent increase in the number of cyberattacks against NATO networks.”
The NATO chief stressed the importance of working “with the EU to defend our allies and members against these cyberattacks.”
Stoltenberg did state, however, that “we have not identified any specific group or enemy threat.”
The exercise “EU CYBRID 2017” seeks to focus on the current situation and highlight the crisis response mechanisms and strategic communications these cyberattacks may require, according to an Estonian EU presidency statement.
During a second session, the EU defense ministers will also tackle matters such as the EU contribution to security in the Sahel and Horn of Africa regions.