Donation of Kingdom of Norway to National CERT

13. May 2021

As part of the project ’’Norway for You – Serbia’’, the Kingdom of Norway supported the information security of the Government of the Republic of Serbia with 1.2 million Euro by procuring and donating CyberBit/CyberRange platform to the National CERT (National Center for the Prevention of Security Risks in ICT systems), intended for national cyber exercises and improvement of regulatory and strategic frames. 

Greeting the ambassador of Norway, H.E. Jørn Eugene Gjelstad, Miloš Cvetanović, state secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications (MTTT) and Michela Telatin, head of the UNOPS Office for Serbia, Dragan Pejović, director of RATEL said:

“It is my great honor and privilege to be able to thank you personally for the donation of the Kingdom of Norway to RATEL in its capacity of the National CERT. I would also like to thank the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications and the UNOPS Office in Serbia for the overall assistance in the realization of the project ’’Norway for You – Serbia’’, through which RATEL received a cyber attack simulation platform of the latest generation – the Cyberbit/CyberRange platform.

RATEL, as a National CERT, is tasked, among other, with raising awareness and enhancement of personnel capacities in the area of cyber security on the national level. We are confident that by carrying out trainings on the CyberRange platform, our ability to readily respond to various challenges in the national cyber space will significantly increase.“

MTTT state secretary Miloš Cvetanović extended his gratitude to the Kingdom of Norway for the support it has given to the Republic of Serbia for the purpose of social and economic development and enhancement of the information security in particular. He added that the platform which creates real attacks’ scenarios will improve capacity and training of the employees in different institutions.

“In the 21st century, the vulnerability of vital national IT systems to threats could cause severe political and socio-economic consequences, making prevention and training in the cyber security segment crucially important. We therefore support the Government of the Republic of Serbia and its institutions in their efforts to build the necessary capacities and fortify their resilience to cyber threats”, said the Kingdom of Norway ambassador to Serbia, Jørn Eugene Gjelstad.

“During a cyber attack simulation, the trainees of the National CERT can experience real situations of interest while performing their regular duties at work. This way, all cyber security experts will be able to become acquainted with possible examples of preparation and execution of cyber attacks which could end up being directed against their information systems. After a completed training, each trainee is expected to be well equipped with skills and knowledge needed to enable them to properly react in case of such types of attacks, as well as to make necessary steps to reduce the cyber attack consequences, should the attackers still manage to penetrate the information system of any given state institution. 

In RATEL’s premises, in November 2020, the installation of the equipment donated through the mentioned project was completed. As early as the beginning of December 2020, the first training cycle for CyberRange platform instructors was held, with the second one currently taking place, both featuring also as a preparation for the first national cyber exercise on this platform, scheduled shortly, all in accordance with a signed Donation Agreement”, explained Dragan Pejović during the presentation of the platform. “Following a completed national cyber exercise, with RATEL being authorized for coordination and execution of the National CERT activities, the plan is to organize additional training sessions for other government security team members, where training programs will be appropriately adapted to meet the unique needs of each organization and include every relevant scenario”, said the director of RATEL, Dragan Pejović.

Michela Telatin, head of the UNOPS Office for Serbia, emphasized that their assistance, along with that of the Kingdom of Norway, is being provided to the MTTT as well, in support to their efforts to strengthen national strategies and regulations in this area, which will subsequently enable a better operational frame-based response to possible cyber threats.

As part of the support to the reguatory and strategic frames in the area of information security and the drafting of recommendations relevant to the segment of critical information infrastructure (CII), a cyber security ecosystem assessment is under way in the Republic of Serbia, in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications and other key interested parties, as well as an assessment of the legislation regarding the CII protection management, response to cyber incidents and development of the CII identification methodology.

The ’’Norway for You – Serbia’’ project is aimed to contribute to an even socio-economic development across the country, through an increased possibility of employment of vulnerable and marginalized social groups in particular, to the support of social cohesion, improvement of local infrastructure, encouragement of the EU integration of the Republic of Serbia and enhancement of the information security of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. The project is funded by the Kingdom of Norway with 8.7 million Euro, whereas on-site activities are carried out by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

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