Washington, D.C./ Politics & Govt
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Published on May 08, 2024
Washington D.C. Hosts the Second U.S.-EU Cyber Fellowship to Advance Transatlantic Cyber DefenseSource: Wikipedia/DHS, as noted below., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In a significant move to bolster transatlantic cyber defense, Washington D.C. played host to the second U.S.-EU Cyber Fellowship last week. Focusing on securing critical infrastructures, the gathering witnessed 17 selected cyber professionals from the Department of Homeland Security and the European Union institutions come together. They engaged in dialogue aiming to deepen their insight into the various mechanisms employed by both entities to guard against cyber threats, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The initiative is a direct outcome of mutual commitments made by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and European Union Commissioner Thierry Breton, rooted in joint statements dating back to 2023. Running over a three-day course, the Cyber Fellowship was designed to foster understanding among government and private partners, seeking methods to address threats and protect the vulnerable infrastructural fabric of societies. "The security of critical infrastructure requires a global approach with close allies," said epartment of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Cyber, Infrastructure, Risk and Resilience Iranga Kahangama, running the foundation for more effective bilateral cooperation, as he told the Department of Homeland Security news release.

Participants included policy makers, government officials, and early-career cybersecurity experts from various components of Department of Homeland Security, such as the Office of Policy, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the United States Coast Guard. They were joined in efforts by European Union representatives from DG CONNECT and the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, who together met with senior figures from U.S. federal agencies, the White House, Congress, and influential academic and industry groups.

The Cyber Fellowship's agenda was comprehensive, sharing strategic insights and probing into future cooperation areas including cybersecurity regulations, incident reporting, and the secure implementation of Artificial Intelligence. Throughout its convergence, an overview of the U.S. policy framework was provided, and practical discussions were held about transportation system security, government and industry interactions, and protocols for incident response and crisis management. In promoting a united front against cyber adversities, Department of Homeland Security and European Union have already accomplished a substantial partnership, evident in the comparative assessment of the Cyber Incident Reporting Council recommendations and the NIS 2 directive initiated this past March 20, as the Department of Homeland Security recent statement highlighted.

This ongoing collaboration has seen several workshops and exchanges addressing cybersecurity concerns related to hardware, software, and emerging technologies. With the establishment of a work plan between European Union Agency for Cybersecurity and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the second iteration of the U.S.-European Union Cyber Fellowship in Washington, D.C. reflects an evolving and deepening partnership, with a vital aim to secure a safer cyber landscape for democracies on both sides of the Atlantic.