Leading cyber experts from Germany and the United States convened in Munich on January 24 to discuss the most pressing cybersecurity issues for transatlantic cooperation. Participants from the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Defense Ministry, the U.S. Department of State, the United States European Command Joint Cyberspace Center, the Bundestag, academics, and tech companies discussed common threats to both countries in the cyber sphere. The Academy for Politics and Current Affairs of the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung and Johns Hopkins University’s American-German Institute in Washington, DC, created the Transatlantic Cybersecurity Partnership to give the bilateral dialogue a platform.
In the context of three meetings in Munich, Berlin, and Washington, DC, the working group of 10 American and 10 German policymakers will be discussing policies to address threats posed by cyber war and digital propaganda. These include digital propaganda affecting the democratic process during elections, and daily cyber security attacks that target government, military, and public service providers’ critical infrastructure. In addition, the national and international legal grey zone for many aspects of cybersecurity makes agreement between policymakers of both countries on cybersecurity norms critical. Cooperation between the private sector and government entities on best practices for ensuring cybersecurity is equally vital as tech firms have the cutting-edge ability to prevent and warn of cyberattacks.
The members of the working group are developing policy recommendations, which will be published and made available for both German and American policymakers as well as the general public. The Transatlantic Cybersecurity Partnership aims to:
- improve information-sharing between the two countries on key cyber threats;
- increase understanding between the private sector and government entities on best practices for ensuring cybersecurity;
- expand the research on solutions to cybersecurity threats; and to
- move the legislative and policy conversation in both countries to ensure budgets, standards, infrastructure, early warning, and risk management systems are in place to protect national and international security.
Prof. Reinhard Meier-Walser, director of the Academy for Politics and Current Affairs commented: “Critical infrastructure and government institutions in both Germany and the United States are increasingly the victims of targeted cyber attacks. A common understanding of the threat as well as the development of cyber norms to deal with that threat is critical. At the same time, transatlantic relations are the cornerstone of the German security and defense policy. So I’m pleased that the Academy for Politics and Current Affairs and AGI can focus on the transatlantic dialogue in this important security area.”
Dr. Jack Janes, the president of AGI agreed: “In this networked, non-territorial sphere, Germany and the United States need to work closely to effectively defend against cyber threats. Intelligence sharing and working together on attribution and early warning is vital to protecting the security of both countries. I am pleased that this partnership between AGI and the Academy for Politics and Current Affairs was able to create a forum where policymakers from both countries can exchange information and more closely coordinate their activities.”
For more information, contact:
Dr. Jack Janes, President, AGI: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Sarah Lohmann, Cyber Project Manager: email@example.com