Estonian Research Council launched a project to build a virtual cyber-range overarching both public and private sector critical infrastructure to increase the national preparedness to prevent and deal with cyber threats. The range will be first of this kind of ranges in the world when completed in 2021.
Critical information infrastructure is crucial for the sustainability of the services within, such as healthcare, energy, safety and security as well as economic and social welfare. Among other factors, interdependencies between different systems make critical services vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The cyber-range to be built during the 2-year project will make it possible to prevent the potential threats and increase readiness to fight the cyber-attacks by rehearsing and testing different scenarios with multiple partners.
The plan and the goals for the project named „Simulation of critical information defence on the cyber-range“ were prepared using inputs from Estonian Ministry of Defence and Estonian Information System Authority. The Project’s consortium is led by University of Tartu and consists of experts from CybExer Technologies OÜ, The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (NATO CCDCOE), Thinnect OÜ and Elisa Eesti AS.
Mr Aare Reintam, COO at Cybexer Technologies OÜ, said: “There is huge value in combining the public and the private sector. In the cyber domain everything is interconnected and the domino effect is a common situation. Albeit the attack might happen in the virtual environment, the consequences will reveal themselves in the real world. We must always stay steps ahead of the potential attackers and the preventative work done in collaboration is critical.”
„The operations of the critical infrastructure are an inseparable part of the wider national defence. The cyber range of the Defence Forces enable us to simulate the risks directly related to the defence area. The virtual environment to be developed during the Project will give us the opportunity to train and research the defence of civil society data systems and exercise the proceedings in case of threats,“ said the Project Manager of the Defence Investments from Ministry of Defence in Estonia, Mr. Andri Rebane.
The budget of the project is 1.135 million Euros and the results are expected by the end of 2021. The funding is provided by the Estonian Research Council through the RITA program, which supports the development of Estonian public sector. RITA Program is funded by the European Regional Development Foundation and Estonian State budget.
Cybexer Technologies OÜ is an Estonian capital-based software development company specialized on cyber-defence related virtual environments, carrying out cyber-defence related exercises both for public and private sector, and trainings for improving the organizational soft- and hardware security. It has had a long collaboration with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence located in Tallinn, Estonia, who is organizing the world’s largest cyber-defence exercise Locked Shields.
NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) is a NATO-accredited international military organization. The Tallinn-based cyber defence hub conducts research, training and exercises and supports NATO with cyber defence expertise in four core areas – technology, strategy, operations and law. The heart of the Centre is a diverse staff of experts with military, government, academia and industry backgrounds from 25 member nations, enabling a unique 360-degree approach to some of the most relevant cyber defence issues.
Estonian Research Council is a governmental foundation for supporting research and innovation through awarding research grants, and facilitating applied research in the fields of smart specialisation.
The University of Tartu University belongs to the top 1.2% of the world’s best universities. As Estonia’s leading centre of research and training, the university stresses the importance of international co-operation and partnerships with reputable research organizations all over the world.
Thinnect is an IoT technology and solutions company with its core offering in the IoT Edge (sensors and controller). Thinnect technology was originally developed for the defence domain in the company Defendec with deployments in over 30 countries. IoT solutions based on Thinnect technology are superior in their security, reliability and ease of deployment.
Elisa Eesti forms part of the Elisa group and is the market leader in Estonia in the private client and prepaid card segment of telecommunications services. The company, which employs 1000 people, aims to become the biggest communications and entertainment company in Estonia. Elisa offers all of its clients mobile communications, permanent Internet connection and TV services and assists companies and the public sector in growing their efficiency and security through network and IT infrastructure solutions. The company’s turnover in 2018 was 169,7 million euros.
Consultant to Cybexer Technologies
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Estonian Research Council