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International cyber defence in the North

Defence Forces C5 Agency
Publication date 14.3.2024 7.59
Press release

Finland, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden and the United States organized a cyber defence training event in Rovaniemi during Exercise Nordic Response 24, from 5 to 14 March. The objective of the event was to provide training for participating countries’ armed forces in the protection of information systems and networks.

The cyber defence training event was attended around 60 personnel from the participating countries’ armed forces. The Finnish Defence Forces C5 Agency hosted the event working alongside the United States Marine Corps to provide a realistic training venue. The United States Marine Corps provided the cyber training environment in which various groups defended military national defence information systems from cyber threats. The event gave partner nations a chance to collaborate and share lessons learned within the cyber domain.

-Today, to combat threats in information networks takes more than being just a passive observer. You must be able to actively protect information networks. That is what we trained in practice with Allies, says Major (Eng.) Mikko Tuomi from the Defence Forces C5 Agency.

The event was an excellent opportunity for experts of various countries to enhance their ability to protect information systems critical for defence and share information about their procedures. Joint training provides skills to operate in even the most demanding scenarios. For many participants, this was the first visit in Finland and a unique opportunity to train with NATO’s newest members.

- Other than training technical skills, getting to know each other was a special goal; fluent cooperation is ultimately down to interaction between individuals and mutual trust, Major (Eng.) Tuomi says.

Threats in the cyber domain do not keep to traditional geographical boundaries. The goal of cyber defence is to protect the Defence Forces’ systems and systems directly affecting the defence capability from Malicious Cyber Actors, State threats, and their representatives. Working on cyber defence has intensified now that Finland has become a part of NATO, in bilateral and multilateral relations.

To strengthen our alliance, a Letter of Intent on advanced cyber partnership has been signed with Finland and the United States aimed at promoting a combined national defence strategy to counter cyber threats. The training conducted during this event is part of strengthening our partnerships.

-As the threat environment evolves, we must keep on developing cyber defence. International cooperation is vital in the global cyber operating environment. As cyber defence in the case of Ukraine has shown, the defender, too, has its say. Shared challenges get more effectively responded to by working together, Col. (Eng.) Janne Jokinen, Director of the Defence Forces C5 Agency sums it up.