On 12 June 2017, Brasidas Group took part in a conference titled “The First National Conference on Cyber Security – Partnerships for a Secure Cyber Space” at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Belgrade. The event was organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), a security-oriented intergovernmental organization. The first public-private partnership in the cybersecurity domain in Serbia was announced at the event, with over 120 representatives of state institutions, the private sector, academia, and civil society organizations attending.

The event was opened by the State Secretary of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign and Internal Trade and Telecommunications, Tatjana Matic; the head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Andrea Oricio; General Manager of Microsoft for Serbia and Montenegro, Zeljko Vujinovic; and Director of the DiploFoundation, Jovan Kurbalija. The first three speeches stressed the importance of international cooperation between the public and the private sectors in making cyber space more secure.

DiploFoundation is a non-profit organization based in Malta, with offices in Geneva and Belgrade, focused on capacity development, especially in the area of internet governance. This organization has worked with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and the Petnica Science Center, located near Valjevo, Serbia, on creating a Serbian security platform “Nexus” under the auspices of the OSCE. Expanding on prior speeches, Mr. Kurbalija stressed the importance of what he facetiously called “beer-to-beer” networking. Speaking about cooperation on cyber security initiatives, he stated that the government needs to be close enough to support the private sector, but far enough to let them take the initiative.

This was followed by a lecture by Melissa Hathaway of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. She highlighted several ideas, such as seeing investing in cyber security as a tax, as well as the interconnectedness of cyber security and actual security. Discussing channels of cooperation between the public and the private sectors on cyber security matters, Ms. Hathaway briefly discussed public-private partnerships, while pointing out the Israeli example as one that has proven to be especially effective. She underscored, however, that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution and that Serbia has to design one based on its local conditions (e.g. the availability of talent).

Brasidas Group was pleased to take part in the conference and we remain devoted to helping promote developments in IT sector in Serbia.