BalkanSecure: Advancing Cybersecuirty in the Western Balkans

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The BalkanSecure: Advancing Cybersecuirty in the Western Balkans” is a regional conference that aims to raise a sense of community among Chevening WBCS Fellowship alumni, who hold key positions across the region in cybersecurity ecosystem. It will also establish a forum for regular sharing of information, ideas, and coordination among the networks. By bringing together participants from all WB countries, this event aims to leverage their collective expertise to accelerate change and knowledge sharing. 



The aim of the regional conference is to mobilise the growing network of Western Balkans Cyber Security (WBSC) Fellows to better co​ordinate, raise the profile of the network and fellowship, and upskill the network. 


The Western Balkan countries have been frequently subject to cyberattacks. Notably, recent attacks that disrupted the work of the Government of Albania, attributed to Iran, were particularly damaging and proved that cyber security demands much more attention from policy- and decision-makers in all WB countries. A key blocker to improving cyber-resilience in the region, identified by the FCDO, is government retention of the relevant cyber expertise and a lack of cross-border co-operation.  

Meanwhile, the Chevening WBCS Fellowship has in recent years trained approximately 30 people from public, private and academic, and this network of fellows has now reached ‘critical mass’ in that it has real potential to accelerate change and share knowledge, but fellows lack opportunities to exchange ideas as a network in a structured manner.   


​​By organising a WBCS conference/exercises in Kosovo, Sense Cyber Research Center (Sense) and Chevening Alumni Kosov​a​​ (CAK) aim to improve links and sense of community between alumni, often in key positions across the region working on developing cybersecurity infrastructure, and establish a forum for regular sharing of information, ideas and coordination. The exercise will also improve technical skills and foster regional collaboration, enabling better working in support of UK foreign policy priorities. ​  


The skills gained and the network established during the conference will continue to be valuable assets for future cooperation and coordination among regional actors in the field of cybersecurity, even after the event concludes. 


Activity 1: Panel discussions: Advancing Cybersecurity Collaboration Across the Region 

  • Panel discussions on policy issues, focusing on effective network collaboration and ways to work together as a cohesive unit against cyber threats. 

Activity 2: Workshop on Cyber Crisis Management 

  • The workshop will cover a range of topics, such as identifying and prioritizing critical assets, incident detection and reporting, crisis communication, and response planning. The participants can learn about the best practices for cyber crisis management, the roles and responsibilities of different teams involved in incident response, and the tools and technologies required for effective cyber defence. 

Activity 3: Cyber Crisis Drill 

  • Cyber Crisis Drill will offer participants to experience a simulate realistic cyber crisis scenarios and to practice making decisions in response to these incidents. Through the Simulation, participants can identify the strengths and weaknesses of their current incident response plans, assess the effectiveness of their communication and collaboration strategies, and evaluate their ability to make timely and informed decisions during a crisis. 

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