U.S., Montenegro conduct cybersecurity exercises

Oct. 4 (UPI) — The U.S. has worked alongside cyberdefense experts within the government of Montenegro over the past several weeks to build cyberdefense capabilities.

The U.S. Air Force Cyber Command and U.S. European Command have spent recent weeks working with Montenegro to conduct Cyber Defense Security Cooperation exercises, which are designed to increase mutual capabilities and deter foreign influence in democratic processes.

“Such efforts are important in terms of identifying new risks and better understanding of threats,” a representative of Montenegro’s Ministry of Defense, said in a press release. “Building trust and transferring knowledge is of great importance to all the allied countries. In this way, we strengthen sovereignty and contribute to the overall cyber defense efforts of the Alliance.”

The effort with NATO ally Montenegro, which joined the alliance in June 2017, is part of the USEUCOM’s Cyber Endeavor program. The program also falls under the U.S. Department of Defense’s Cyber Strategy to increase information sharing with allies improved capabilities and operational expansion.

“We understand the importance of cyberdefense, and we’ve become increasingly reliant on that network of information, so partnering with foreign nations to protect democracy and learn from one another helps not only the U.S. but our allies as well,” the team leader of U.S. Cyber Command said.

USEUCOM also held its quarterly Cyber Endeavor event in Montenegro at the same time. The three-day series of collaboration and familiarization workshops are held quarterly at locations across Europe. This was the third event of 2018, following gatherings in Czech Republic and Croatia, with the next scheduled for November in Lisbon, Portugal.

The event involved 15 nations this time around, continuing the series’ 2018 focus on cybersecurity incidents, with 30 personnel participating in the event and more than 35 subject matter experts attending.

“NATO, and partner nations, have to protect the cyber domain,” Col. Božo Đurović, chief of the armed forces of Montenegro’s information and communication systems department, said in a press release. “We have to provide for our forces and commanders to be able to conduct the full spectrum of operations through all dimensions and all domains.”

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