The NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) welcomed four new members on Thursday — Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway and Romania — bringing the total number of member countries to 25. The accession was celebrated with a special flag-raising ceremony at the CCDCOE.
“In 11 years, we have grown from seven founding members to a 25-nation-strong cyberdefense hub with prominent, world-renowned flagships,” said Col. Jaak Tarient, director of the multinational interdisciplinary hub of cyberdefense expertise, according to a CCDCOE press release. “A warm welcome to Bulgaria, Denmark, Norway and Romania to the CCDCOE. We are glad to see so many new nations lining up to joint our community of experts. This demonstrates that, when it comes to cyberdefense, cooperation among like-minded countries has become inevitable.”
With the accession of four new members, the CCDCOE has become the largest among 25 NATO-accredited centers of excellence.
“The fact that more and more nations are joining to actively contribute to cybersecurity reflects the need to improve capabilities in the cyber domain,” Tarien highlighted. “Increased global connectivity and technological development means that we have to be ready for any kind of cyber threat and bring our capabilities up to date. Tackling cyber threats that our democracies are facing demands expert knowledge and skills, which are reinforced by close cooperation between allies and partners.”
Japan, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Switzerland are already in the process of joining the CCDCOE. Luxembourg and Australia have also announced their intention to join the center.
25 sponsoring nations, contributing participants
Founded in 2008, NATO CCDCOE is a NATO-accredited international military organization supporting its member states and NATO with cyberdefense expertise in the fields of technology, strategy, operations and law. At the heart of the center is a diverse group of experts, including researchers, analysts, trainers and educators. A mix of military, government and industry backgrounds allows the center to provide a unique, 360-degree approach to cyberdefense.
The CCDCOE is home of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations. The center also organizes Locked Shields, the world’s largest and most complex technical cyberdefense exercise, as well as CyCon, the Conference on Cyber Conflict, which regularly brings together more than 600 experts.
The center is staffed and financed by its sponsoring nations and contributing participants, which now include 25 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S. as sponsoring nations, and Austria, Finland and Sweden as contributing participants, a status for which non-NATO states are eligible.