On 23 April, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop MP announced
that Australia is becoming a participating member of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organisation (NATO) Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence
The move aims to boost Australia’s cybersecurity
capabilities against hostile attacks as well foster international cooperation
in cyber defence.
The NATO CCDCOE is multinational and interdisciplinary hub
of world-leading cyber defence expertise based in Tallinn, Estonia.
“Now, more than ever, we must engage with the international
community to set clear expectations for responsible state behaviour in
cyberspace. The international rules-based order applies online, just as it does
offline,” Minister Bishop stated.
To support Australia’s participation in the NATO CCDCOE, Australia
is opening its first pop-up embassy in Tallinn. The Embassy will have a temporary
presence of 12 months.
An Australian Defence Force member will be seconded to the
Centre for a three-month period each year.
This year, Australia will take part as an observer nation in
CCDCOE’s annual Locked
Shields exercise, the
world’s largest and most advanced
international live-fire cyber defence exercise.
The annual exercise
is a unique opportunity for national cyber defenders to practise protection of
national IT systems and critical infrastructure under the intense pressure of a
severe cyberattack. This year’s Locked Shields is scheduled to take
place from 23 April to 27 April. It will highlight the growing
need to enhance dialogue between various experts and decision-making levels.
The exercise is organised
by CCDCOE in cooperation with the Estonian Defence Forces, the Finnish
Defence Forces, the Swedish Defence University, the British Joint Army, the
United States European Command, National Security Research Institute of the
Republic of Korea and Tallinn University of Technology.
Industry partners in the exercise include Siemens AG,
Ericsson, Bittium, Goodmill, Threod Systems, Cyber Test Systems, Clarified
Security, Iptron, Bytelife, BHC Laboratory, openvpn.net, GuardTime and numerous
Other than efforts to boost cybersecurity capabilities, Minister
Bishop also iterated that the country “should not lose sight of the fact that
digital technologies are also profound enablers of sustainable development and
inclusive economic growth”.
As such, Australia launched a project, funded by Australia’s
Cyber Cooperation Program, to increase digital service delivery among
governments in the Indo-Pacific region. The
Estonia E-Governance Academy and the Australian
Strategic Policy Institute will jointly deliver the project.
According to the official press release, these initiatives
are practical fulfilment of the commitment in Australia’s International Cyber
Engagement Strategy to promote an open, free and secure Internet which drives
economic growth, enhances our national security and fosters international