The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (PIPS) and GLOBSEC Policy Institute are pleased to announce the release of the "Slovak Republic Cyber Readiness at a Glance," the latest study in a series of country reports assessing national-level preparedness for cyber risks based on the Cyber Readiness Index 2.0(CRI) methodology. This report provides the most in-depth analysis to date of Slovakia’s current cyber security posture and its efforts to strengthen the country's security and resilience in the face of emerging ICT threats.
This joint project between PIPS and GLOBSEC marked the first time that the CRI 2.0 methodology was applied to a Central and Eastern European country. As Melissa Hathaway, CRI leading author, stated: “We are glad to have had such an important partner as GLOBSEC in this region to develop a Cyber Readiness Index profile for Slovakia. This was an important evaluation to undertake because Slovakia is a strategic member of the EU, NATO, and the Visegrád Group alliances, and has a critical location in Central-Eastern Europe. As the first profile in the Visegrád Group, we hope it will pave the way for more countries in the region to understand the value of such an analysis.”
According to the CRI 2.0 assessment, Slovakia is still in the early stages of developing a path toward cyber resilience and cyber readiness. The Slovak government launched important political and economic reforms to accelerate Slovakia’s development, connectivity, and digital economic growthin the early 2000s, and recognized the need to become cyber ready as early as 2008. The call to action from NATO and the EU to address the national security and economic risks of cyber insecurity has further sharpened Slovakia’s focus toward cyber defense. The challenge, however, is that these two sets of goals – digital growth and national cyber security – are still being executed by separate entities. The digitization of the country and the digital economic priorities (aligning Slovakia to the EU Single Digital Market) are being led by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Investments and Informatization. Whereas the cyber resilience and cyber defense priorities of the country are being led by the National Security Authority (NBU). Slovakia needs to better align its initiatives to meet the expectations of the international institutions and its business community, and champion the cyber security and resilience considerations as part of the country’s overall planning process.
The CRI 2.0 report for Slovakia identifies areas where policymakers can alter or refine the country’s current posture by leveraging or updating laws, policies, standards, market levers, etc., and implementing other initiatives to preserve the security of their connectivity and protect the value of their economy. Slovakia economically desires to reach the same growth level of countries such as Hungary, Finland, Sweden, and Estonia, where the digital economy already accounts for 5 to 5.5% of their GDP. The NBU has a critical role in enhancing the country’s cyber posture strategically. As the national competent authority for cyber security, it has the opportunity to frame the national narrative and articulate why a whole-of-government approach is needed to reduce economic and societal risk. Establishing clear lines of accountability and responsibility, and successfully achieving each milestone set forth in their strategies will allow Slovakia to establish credibility and foster confidence in the country’s ability to ensure its future safety, security, and economic wellbeing.
The report was made possible through funding by the Slovak’s Deputy Prime Minister’s Office and includes interviews with Slovak Government officials and other EU and NATO experts. As Deputy Prime Minister Richard Raši stated: “Building an adequate standard of cyber security at national level is a long-term and systematic process. We are aware of this fact in our Office and, therefore, our cyber security strategy is based on creating and developing staffing capacities, systematic awareness-raising, and evolutionary changes in ICT governance in public administration.”
Robert Vass, President and Founder of GLOBSEC, added: “We are very pleased to have partnered with the CRI team at the Potomac Institute on this important project. For Slovakia, cybersecurity must be a priority, and this is the most comprehensive cyber readiness mapping exercise done on the country to date. It has been GLOBSEC’s aim since its inception to provide a better understanding of global security threats and their consequences for society and governance. The CRI 2.0 country profile for Slovakia does just that.”