Western Balkans Cyber Capacity Centre (WB3C)
Cybil code: G0873
From: Jan 2023
Tags: Western Balkans
Themes & Topics
France and Slovenia, in partnership with Montenegro, are currently establishing a regional-scale training centre in Podgorica, with an European and strategic ambition. The WB3C will be operating at the premises of the Science and Technology Campus in Podgorica and its activities will benefit to the relevant administrations of the Western Balkans countries in support of their European perspective and EU approximation.
France and Slovenia aim to make local expertise a central part of the project. Support to the Western Balkans countries through increased cooperation and training in the field of cybersecurity and cybercrime will address pertinent regional shortcomings and contribute to the exchange of information and good practices between the regional stakeholders. Therefore, regional experts will participate in conducting the training courses alongside French and Slovenian experts. The ultimate goal of this regional Center is to foster appropriation by the WB6 and to facilitate EU approximation through cooperation with EU Member states.
The centre thus aims at a triple approach:
- Disseminate a cyber culture through education and awareness. The WB3C eventually aims at fostering curricula related to cybersecurity in the universities of the region. A partnership is being developed with the Balkan Institute for Science and Innovation of the University of Nice Côte d’Azur and the University of Maribor.
- Strengthening the operational capacities. Various trainings will be conducted by French,Slovenian and regional experts, with the aim to fully engage regional capacities, in the fields of: investigation, prosecution, attack prevention and risk management.
- Promote regional and international cooperation. Holding annual forums for Government CERT, National CERT and agencies directors, or similar bodies at the national level and heads of police departments will contribute to develop public/private partnerships and Cyber diplomacy. It could help bringing together specialized services, which would facilitate information sharing at the regional level.
The WB3C is a clear commitment and a tangible initiative to help the Western countries face a pressing issue of cyber security and cyber capacity building and to support them in their European perspective.
The growing threats in cyberspace have shed light on the dire need for robust cybersecurity policies, strategies, processes and infrastructures for every country around the world. In this context, international cooperation and coordination is the only way to counter and recover from transnational cyber threats and malicious activities, through information sharing, consultations, sharing of best practices and capacity building programmes.
In the Western Balkans, the rapid digital transformation of economies and societies goes along with growing associated risks of cybercrime and cyberattacks, as demonstrated recently by successive waves of attacks against public authorities’ information systems. In the region, incidents such as fraud, phishing, theft and misuse of personal data, online scams and hacking are often reported and hybrid threats, with the combination of cyberattacks and online disinformation by foreign actors contribute to the overall instability of the region. This worrying trend highlights the need for Western Balkans countries for increased cyber resilience, supported by a strong political will to strengthen capacities in terms of cybersecurity.
Upon analysis of this situation, France and Slovenia, in partnership with Montenegro, have decided to initiate a long-term cyber capacity building project for the Western Balkans countries determined as the Western Balkans Cyber Capacity Centre (WB3C).
The training courses of WB3C will provide ground to disseminate a cyber culture, develop the expertise of active practitioners and create a regional cooperation network. The centre will cover three main domains: Cybersecurity, Fight against Cybercrime and Cyber diplomacy.
These trainings will benefit to civil servants from the six Western Balkans countries: Government CERT, National CERT, Agency for Cyber Security, police forces, justice civil servants, and other relevant members of administration (investigation services, cyber hygiene trainers, security officers from critical infrastructures etc).
- First Steering Committee Meeting (Paris,France) – 21-22 March 2023. In parallel with the Steering Committee meeting, a working meeting of experts from all three WB3C founder countries will take place in Paris.
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