Slovenia receives €30 million US donation to boost cyber defence
Slovenia has received €30 million worth of cyber defence equipment from the US government to improve the security of communication and information systems and the cyber defence capabilities of Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) and Ministry of Defence (MoD) personnel.
According to the ministry, maintenance and professional support for the entire equipment is secured for the next three years. And in addition to the integration of the donated equipment, basic training of system operators has also been performed.
Defence Minister Marjan Šarec and US Ambassador to Slovenia Jamie Harpootlian attended a ceremony on 10 November to hand over the donated hardware and software for the Security Operations Centre of the MoD Communication and Information Systems and for the Cyber Training Centre.
In addition to improving the security of the SAF and MOD communication and information systems, the new capabilities of the Cyber Training Centre are also very important, Šarec said on the occasion.
"The centre, one of its kind in Slovenia, has capabilities for the defence system and the entire national security system and critical infrastructure operators in the country," he added.
As such, the training centre is a new, upgraded form of cooperation as part of the regional framework of the Western Balkan NATO partner countries.
"This joint project of Slovenia and the US is particularly important .. at a time when, unfortunately, the cyber activities of actors who are not sympathetic to us are a daily occurrence," Šarec said.
Ambassador Harpootlian said that the US donating €30 million in cyber defence equipment was clear proof of the long-term and deep partnership with Slovenia.
The new, state-of-the-art Cyber Training Centre and the Security Operations Centre bring key cyber resilience and support Slovenia's growing regional and global leadership role in cyber security, she added.
This project is another great example of how the US and Slovenia are stronger together when they act as friends, partners and allies against malicious players who could pose a threat to democratic way of life, the ambassador said.
The Cyber Training Centre will be used by SAF and MoD personnel and for international exercises in cyber defence. The first international exercise is to take place next July.
In the future, the centre will also be available to civil servants and members of educational institutions, and the plan is also to develop and attract young talent in IT and cyber defence. It will also be used to train students.