US Led Mission in Europe to Bolster Cyber Security

The US led mission also has 20 American companies ready to do business during the cybersecurity summit held in Bucharest, Romania between 11-13th May 12, 2015.

The Ministry for Information Society together with the US Department of Commerce and the Commercial Service of the US Embassy in Bucharest will be participating at the Palace of the Parliament for the Cyber Security Regional Summit.

Companies and government officials, along with specialists in cybersecurity will be participating from public and private sectors in countries including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, the USA and Romania, during the three day event.

“In the same period, the US Department of Commerce and the Commercial Service of the US Embassy in Bucharest are conducting a commercial mission in Bucharest to present the latest solutions which the US companies can provide in this area. The participants in the summit will have the opportunity to conduct bilateral discussions with experts in cyber security and leaders within the represented companies,” the US Embassy also informs.

The US led group is headed by Deputy Commerce Secretary Bruce Andrews. Among the many objectives, the mission is to ensure American defensive allies are strong in their cyber security defenses.

“Poland and Romania have a very tech savvy population and they are also in a challenging neighborhood when it comes to cyber threats, both from a nation state and cybercrime perspective,” Andrews said.

“The nation states in their neighborhood are pretty aggressive,” Andrews added. “So we want to help make sure that we and our allies have the necessary regime in place to deal with the cyber threats.”

During the trip, American firms plan to establish and/or expand their market presence in Central and Eastern Europe, while sharing best defense practices on fighting cyber-attacks with key allies. Critical infrastructure is a primary focus, after recent security scares highlighted the significant damage a hacker is capable of.

“The mission comes at an opportune time. Earlier this year, CERT-RO, the Romanian National Computer Security Incident Response Team, and national contact point on cybersecurity incidents, reported that in 2014, it received and processed over 78 million cybersecurity alerts affecting over 2.4 million unique intrusion prevention systems in Romania. More than 50 percent of alerts received involved misconfigured, insecure or vulnerable systems,” noted Andrews.

For instance, the hacker group Dragonfly, thought to have originated in Russia have reportedly targeted energy companies in Poland, Romania as well as the US. This is after they focused on Spain, Italy and France last year. In doing so, they compromised critical industrial control systems (ICS), used to control sections of entire power plants and power grids.

“The only way to defend against malicious actors is to do it collaboratively,” Mike Buratowski, VP of cyber security services at Fidelis said. “If you try to do it on your own, you are only going to see one piece of the picture.”