Skopje, October 4th, 2021

Deputy Minister of Information Society and Administration Aleksandar Bajdevski had his addressing at the international conference "Cybersecurity in the Balkans: Challenges and Opportunities", organized by the International Slavic University “Gavrilo Romanovich Derzhavin” from the Republic of North Macedonia, CyBureau - Institute for Cyber ​​Policy Studies from Israel and the University of Telecommunications and Post from Bulgaria. The online conference is taking place on October 4 and 5, 2021 and today, the Deputy Minister had an introductory address, in which he addressed the potential cyber security threats as well as the strategy and vision for dealing with the same.

"A clear and strategic vision for cyber security at national level has been established with the adoption of the National Cyber ​​Security Strategy 2018-2022 and the Action Plan for its implementation. At the beginning of 2020, the Republic of North Macedonia achieved one of its strategic goals and became the 30th member of NATO. However, NATO membership, in addition to its strengths, can contribute to becoming a greater target of cyber and hybrid attacks. The national communication networks in the Republic of North Macedonia are part of the global communication networks, which means that cyber security incidents elsewhere can affect the Macedonian cyberspace and services, and vice versa. In analyzes made by the world's most relevant institutions in the field of security and defense, cyber threats are highlighted among the most significant security threats to modern societies. "Therefore, in the last few years, they have been treated as an integral part of national and international security," emphasized Bajdevski.

In view of the progress regarding this area, Deputy Minister Bajdevski pointed out that according to the National Cyber ​​Security Index, published by the Estonian Academy for e-Government, the Republic of North Macedonia has grown significantly by almost 20 places in the last two years. In previous years, our country was ranked on 70th and 60th place in the global ranking, but the last two reports dated this year show that North Macedonia has moved to 45th place.

North Macedonia hosted the first, and is part of each subsequent Digital Summit of the Western Balkan countries. Bajdevski added that as participants in this year's edition of the Digital Summit, which will be held in Podgorica, we again have the opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge in this area with other countries in the region, and those experiences and knowledge will help to cope even better with all future cyber-threats and to provide our citizens with even more secure cyberspace.

In his address, Deputy Minister Aleksandar Bajdevski mentioned the cooperation with the National Center for Computer Incident Response, MKD-CIRT, in order to conduct interactive online cyber security training for administrative servants and managerial staff, which aims to data protection of the citizens that are at state institutions’ disposal.

    "In order to strengthen the country's cybersecurity capacity, the Ministry of Information Society and Administration, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is implementing a project to increase cyber resilience and protect critical national infrastructure from cyber-attacks." This cooperation will strengthen the human and technological capacities for cyber security of critical infrastructure, improve communication protocols and increase resilience and preparedness to deal with cyber security threats at national level.

Finally, I want to emphasize that improving the cyber security state should be a commitment by all stakeholders in the country. In an interconnected internet world, we all share the responsibility for securing cyberspace," concluded Bajdevski.