Baltics and Finland should start working closely on cybersecurity  

The world has changed and we all must adapt by sharing our challenges and lessons learned, was the main message in the conference “Harnessing Digital Tech in Cybersecurity & Critical Infrastructure Protection” at Tallinn when political and business community stakeholders from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland gathered to discuss issues relating to the recent developments in the area of cybersecurity and critical infrastructure protection in the region.  

It was agreed among participants that Baltics and Finland have a great potential for further cooperation in the field of protection of critical infrastructure. The discussion where IT associations from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland attended was about the cooperation possibilities between our countries that would significantly improve security posture of our societies.  

Our four countries have some of the world’s best cybersecurity experts to protect our countries critical infrastructure. We also share the history and the future of the public safety, security, and wellbeing in the difficult times of pandemics, war and uncertainty. There are a lot of great opportunities for further cooperation in the region. For example, holders of the public and private critical infrastructure could benefit from cross-border regional cyber protection defence exercises, or existing good governance practice shall be extended cross-border. Right now our countries share information on attacks and protection mostly inside the country, but closer cooperation between us would make the process of multi-domain risk analysis faster and more efficient as all our countries evaluate the same information on warfare, disinformation and cyberattacks.      

And of course, Ukraine was on everyone’s top of mind. Many speakers talked about the lessons that should be drawn from the ongoing war and more specifically the one taking place in the cyber realm. It was common ground among the speakers that recent events in Ukraine clearly showed that data localization raises significant risks under circumstances where the state’s territorial integrity or control is threatened.  Digital resilience is best served when systems and data are decentralized and, in fact, many countries are starting to adopt relevant policies. Consequently, one aspect of possible future cooperation at state level could be to perform a regulatory cross-check followed by an agreement on absolute protection of confidentiality of data owned by the other state when processed under the territory of another state. Such measure could create a strong incentive for state and business continuity planning.  

The conference was organized on June 15th by Estonian Association of Information Technology & Telecommunications (ITL), in cooperation with the Latvian national ICT association (LIKTA), Lithuanian national ICT association (INFOBALT), Finnish Information Security Cluster (FISC), Technology Finland, and in partnership with Microsoft.  

Event program with speakers   

Video of Session 1 Cybersecurity and beyond: Enhancing security cooperation between countries:  

Video of Session 2 Destination digital: Public and private sector cooperation in critical infrastructure protection and advancing digital transformation in the region: