Southeast Europe Cyber Security Workshop Held in Sofia April 19-20, 2017

From left to right: Dr. Matthew Rhodes, Mr. Andrew McClearn, Dr. Peter Kolb, Dr. Georgi Sharkov

The George C. Marshall European Center (GCMC) for Security Studies, in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, conducted a cyber-security workshop entitled “Regional Cooperation to Improve Cybersecurity International Norms and Policy Best Practices”.

The workshop focused on addressing challenges in the cyber environment while adhering to the fundamental values of a democratic society, and provided senior government officials with professional cyber knowledge and capabilities to deal with transnational cyber security challenges. The two-day program is part of GCMC’s mission to enable and enhance United States and German international partner engagement in the cyber domain in Bulgaria and beyond.

Dr. Matthew Rhodes, Director of Programs on Central and Southeast Europe and faculty member GCMC, welcomed participants and speakers. Andrew McClearn, acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, opened the workshop and was followed by Dr. Peter Kolb, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany. Both speakers stressed the importance of addressing cyber security issues proactively – a growing number of cyber-attacks and cyber threats against networks is a clear wake-up call.  Sharing information between industry and government is essential – the key question is what type of information should be shared and who should have access to it.

Dr. Georgi Sharkov, Bulgarian Cyber Security Coordinator and Advisor to the Office of the Prime Minister, also welcomed the participants.