Cyberspace has become an essential component of modern society. However, the merits of the open internet are accompanied by risks which need to be approached comprehensively and systematically though the cooperation of all stakeholders. Many countries have adopted national cybersecurity strategies and related legislation, taking into account both security and freedoms, and have set up national mechanisms for response to cyber-incidents, involving government as well as the corporate, academic, and NGO sectors.
South-eastern Europe (SEE), and especially the western Balkans, is lagging behind. This course aims to increase cybersecurity capacities of public institutions and the private and civil sectors in SEE, through providing policy training aimed in particular at young officials and professionals. The course is organised by DiploFoundation within the Cybersecurity Capacity Building and Research Programme for South-Eastern Europe, in cooperation with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and with the support of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA of Switzerland.
What will you learn?
- Identify the defining features of cybersecurity, and the factors which shape the international and regional issues.
- Identify principal threats to cybersecurity; describe and analyse the key cybersecurity issues for users, and states.
- Explain the issues involved in cybercrime, its impact and investigation.
- Describe how the Internet is used for terrorism and ways to address this concern.
- Explain the threats to the core Internet infrastructure and the core infrastructure of society.
- Explain the risks of cyber-conflict and map international law and global and regional norms of state behaviour in relation to cyberspace.
- Outline key national mechanisms for prevention and response to cyber-incidents and explain the working models of the CERT.
- Map the broader context of cybersecurity, including the link with human rights, privacy and data protection, and economic growth.
- Explain and analyse the international frameworks for cybersecurity cooperation.
How will you learn?
In this course you will interact intensively in discussions with classmates and lecturers from around the world. You will receive guidance and personalised feedback on your classwork from the course team.
How long will you learn?
The course lasts for 9 weeks:
- 1 week of course introduction and orientation to online learning
- 8 weeks of addressing the course topics one by one (see below for more details)
Who should apply
This course will be of interest to anyone from the SEE region who seeks to engage in the fields of cybersecurity, cyber-diplomacy, and digital policies, such as:
- Officials from ministries and authorities in charge of information society, technology, security, foreign affairs, industry and economic development, media, human rights, or education, among others.
- Diplomats responsible for digital issues or security cooperation.
- Staff of regional and international organisations whose work is related to the security sector, rights, or digital policies.
- Representatives of the private sector, especially the ICT industry, such as telecommunication companies and Internet service providers, as well as the financial or energy sector, and other critical sectors.
- Professionals working with the critical infrastructure operators and cybersecurity bodies (such as CERTs).
- Educators, graduate students, and researchers interested in multidimensional perspectives on cybersecurity.
- Professionals and activists from NGOs and civil society working on or interested in cybersecurity.
The Cybersecurity or South-Eastern Europe online course covers following topics:
- an introduction to cybersecurity and definitions;
- threats and vulnerabilities;
- cybercrime challenges and frameworks to combat cybercrime;
- security of the core Internet infrastructure and critical infrastructure;
- cyberterrorism, cyber-conflicts, and international law and norms of state behaviour in cyberspace with focus on related international and regional initiatives;
- national policies and mechanisms such as strategies and CERTs;
- security sector reforms and cybersecurity; and
- the broader context of cybersecurity including Internet governance, human rights, privacy and data protection, and economic growth and development.
This online course is based on a collaborative learning approach, involving a high level of interaction. Reading materials and the necessary tools for online interaction are provided in a virtual classroom.
Each week, participants study and discuss course materials and complete additional online activities. At the end of the week, participants and lecturers meet to discuss the topic of the week. For successful completion, this course requires a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of study time per week.
- Be from and working in the SEE region: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo*, Republic of North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Turkey.
- Hold an undergraduate university degree and, ideally, at least two years relevant working experience.
- Have sufficient ability in the English language to undertake postgraduate level studies.
Fees and scholarships
Participation in this course for selected applicants is fully funded by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland (FDFA).