A two-day training course on the role of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the context of regional and international security, which gathered some 40 participants from seven countries of South-Eastern Europe started today in Sarajevo. The training course is jointly organized by the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the OSCE Transnational Threats Department and the OSCE Mission to BiH.
Over the course of two days, security experts will explore ways in which international cyber/ICT policy tools can be used to mitigate the impact of major cyber incidents and improve the resilience of national ICT systems. It will also be an opportunity to exchange information and experience in the application of practical measures for enhancing regional cyber/ICT security.
A particular focus will be placed on the role of the OSCE cyber/ICT confidence-building measures (CBMs), which were jointly agreed upon and adopted by the OSCE participating States to improve security in cyberspace and prevent unnecessary inter-state tensions stemming from the use of ICTs. These CBMs offer concrete tools and mechanisms to reduce the risks of misperceptions, misunderstandings and conflict stemming from the use of ICTs in inter-state relations.
“In a digitalizing world, a potent cyber-attack could cripple an entire country more rapidly and systemically than any other threat,” said Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH, Ambassador Bruce G. Berton. “It is a threat that requires our greater engagement, creative new solutions and, most importantly, improved coordination. Developing countries such as BiH are distinctly vulnerable to consequences of cyber-attacks due to the fragility of critical infrastructure, nascent economies, insufficiently aware citizens and users, and institutional inability for an effective response.”
The OSCE Cyber Security Officer, Szilvia Toth, also underlined the need for international co-operation on cyber/ICT security, stating that “we must also recognize that risks stemming from cyberspace are global – every State is only as secure as its neighbour, and every region is only as secure as other regions.”
The training course in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the fifth such regional training course organized across the OSCE area, with the aim of enhancing capacities and building confidence in cyberspace, while taking into account unique regional circumstances, best practices and approaches to cyber/ICT security.