A. Wess Mitchell
Patrik Maldre
29 March 2016

CEPA Cyber Defense Initiative Launch Event

The Center for European Policy Analysis held a discussion entitled “Estonian Security Policy and Transatlantic Cyber Defense.” The event was moderated CEPA President A. Wess Mitchell and featured insight from Hannes Hanso, the Estonian Minister of Defence. Following the discussion, Adjunct Fellow Patrik Maldre launched CEPA's Cyber Defense Initiative (CDI) with its inaugural Experts Roundtable.

As cyber threats proliferate, the United States and its allies are attempting to adapt to new dangers and new capabilities in the digital battlespace. How exactly are allies like Estonia responding to this challenge; how can allies better defend against, and deter, cyber threats; and what should the Alliance seek to accomplish on the cyber front at the NATO Summit later this summer?

Cyber has become the fifth domain of warfare. If the old frontlines were analog, the new ones are digital. High-level breaches of ministries, parliaments, military organizations, research facilities and critical infrastructure providers are now commonplace. Simultaneously, many countries are developing offensive cyber capabilities. If left unaddressed these developments could threaten strategic stability and international relations as states and non-state actors launch increasingly targeted and sophisticated cyber operations.

The CEPA Cyber Defense Initiative aims to address this dilemma with a new cross-cutting analytical platform on transatlantic cyber defense. The effort will place technical data and tactical operations in the strategic context. This paves the way to more unified, informed and proactive approaches to cyber defense for individuals, companies and transatlantic allies.

The initiative is led by Patrik Maldre, who has joined CEPA as an Adjunct Fellow. Maldre is also a researcher at the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS), a Tallinn-based think tank, and previously worked as a diplomat in the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has published widely on cybersecurity threats and international cyber cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. His area of expertise covers transatlantic cybersecurity policy, including cyber deterrence, norms and confidence-building measures, as well as the use of offensive cyber capabilities by threat actors connected to Russian strategic interests.