Monica M. Ruiz argues in War on the Rocks that the Estonian voluntary Cyber Defense Unit is a model that the United States should implement. I think this is a great idea for many countries, including other countries in the Baltic region.
The idea is that citizens who are specialists in cyber security or have other information technology skills can volunteer for the Estonian Defense League. When necessary, they can contribute to protect the online infrastructure of the country and participate in crisis management.
This model broadens the idea of a military reserve to the cyber security realm. The government gets an important ability to scale the resources in case of an emergency, but equally important it strengthens the cooperation between government and private actors. Regular exercises stimulate the exchange of knowledge and offer a possibility to build personal relationships among people who work professionally with cyber security and information technology.
The idea of organizing dedicated cyber professionals in a government setting is really good. Not only is the nation’s crisis response ability improved because there are more resources to call upon when necessary. The general resilience of the country’s computer systems is also improved because security professionals have a forum where challenges are regularly discussed.
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