Cybersecurity Network Foundation
Cybersecurity Network Foundation (CSN) formerly known as the informal “Petnica Group”, developed in parallel with the process of establishment of a national regulatory framework for cybersecurity in Serbia. After several initial activities carried out in 2014, with the support of the three international organizations – the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Diplo Foundation and Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) – the first national coordination meeting that included all key public and private actors in the field of cybersecurity took place in mid-2015.
Cybersecurity Network Foundation (CSN) formerly informally known as the “Petnica Group”, developed along the process of establishing a regulatory and institutional framework for the cyber security in Serbia.
Cybersecurity Network Foundation (CSN) formerly informally known as the “Petnica Group”, developed along the process of establishing a regulatory and institutional framework for the cyber security in Serbia. After several initial activities carried out in 2014, with the support of the three international organizations – the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Diplo Foundation and Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) – the first national coordination meeting that included all key public and private actors in the field of cyber security took place in mid-2015. With this meeting, a community of cybersecurity professionals and enthusiasts was practically formed, who until then did not have a suitable platform for meeting, gathering, and exchanging views and experiences.
Over time, this community has developed into an informal, multi-stakeholder network that regularly holds meetings involving wide range of actors from the public and private sectors, academia and civil society. From the very beginning, the community focused on strengthening public-private partnerships and supporting the development of adequate cybersecurity policies and strategic frameworks in the Republic of Serbia. Over the years the network has become a platform for policy discussions on developments, issues, potentials and challenges in the field of cyber security in Serbia, from the normative framework developed, through national strategic priorities and the adoption of the national Information Security Development Strategy, to the necessary and possible ways and forms of cooperation in the field of cyber security. The community also held the first cyber exercise aimed at creating policies in this area in 2017, and in 2020 the Network organized the online tabletop exercise. In addition, exchange of best practices is enabled with partners from Montenegro, Finland, Israel, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland, the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as institutions such as Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, The Geneva Centre for Security Policy, the George C. Marshall European Center For Security Studies, The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the FIRST global CERT Community.
Community has been very active in searching for modalities of its more formal and institutional setting. After a series of consultations within the community, it was concluded that in order to have greater independence but also the potential for further development, and in accordance with the existing legal framework, the best possible framework for further functioning of the community is the formation of an independent entity called the Cybersecurity Network Foundation. The purpose of creating the foundation is to be a bridge between the technical community and policy makers, as well as a platform for discussing common solutions and ways to achieve them. This framework also enables the strengthening of mutual understanding of the jurisdictions of other actors in the national cyber security framework.
As a result, the Cybersecurity Network Foundation acts as a true center for the exchange of information, knowledge and practice, as a support group in case of incidents due to personal contacts between its members, and as a group of potential partners in future projects and programs in the field of cyber security.
In addition to the workshops that are organized in the manner established since the beginning of the work, the Foundation also initiated other significant activities such as the organization of the national Cyber Hero program and the formation of the Working Group for monitoring international cooperation and projects.
Cyber Hero is a capacity building program in the field of cyber security through extracurricular work with university and high school students. The primary goal of the program is the popularization of cyber security among students through special training and participation in competitions. Within the framework of the Cyber Hero program, the organization of the national competition – Serbian Cybersecurity Challenge (SCC), as well as the selection and preparation of the Serbian National Team for participation in international competitions, primarily the European Cybersecurity Challenge (ECSC), is carried out. The implementation of the program was supported by the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (RATEL), the National CERT and the Security – Information Agency.
The formation of the working group for monitoring international cooperation and projects was initiated at the Foundation’s workshop in September 2021, and the group began its work in January 2022. Representatives of the public and private sector, academia and non-governmental organizations participate in the work of the Working Group, who monitor international processes of importance for Serbia, analyze Serbia’s participation and position in international processes and make proposals for improvement and map existing and upcoming international aid projects to Serbia.
The importance of the Cybersecurity Network is recognized by the most important actors in the field of cyber security in Serbia. The CSN Foundation signed agreements on cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, RATEL, RNIDS, SHARE Foundation and Unicom Telecom, and the signing of such agreements with several other institutions is under preparation.
The Cybersecurity Network is also recognized in the Serbian Strategy for the Development of the Information Society and Information Security 2021-2026 through activity 3.5.2 – Organizing meetings of the Cybersecurity Network Foundation in order to encourage public-private partnerships. In addition, members of the Cybersecurity Network formed an Expert Working Group of the Body for the Coordination of Information Security Affairs, which had the task of submitting proposals for measures and activities for this strategy from the perspective of the private, academic and civil sectors.
So far, representatives of the following institutions and organizations have participated in the work of the Cybersecurity Network Foundation:
- Banca Intesa
- Security Information Agency
- Diplo Foundation
- ERSTE Bank
- Public Enterprise Electric Power Industry of Serbia
- Faculty of Security Studies, University of Belgrade
- Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade
- Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad
- Republic of Serbia Innovation Fund
- General Secretariat of Serbian Government
- „Petnica“ Research Centre
- The Office of the National Security Council and Classified Information Protection
- Microsoft Serbia
- Ministry of Mining and Energy
- Ministry of Defence
- Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications
- Ministry of Interior (CERT MoI)
- National Bank of Serbia
- Serbian national Internet domain registry Foundation – RNIDS
- Republic Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (National CERT)
- Saga New Frontier Group
- School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade
- SHARE Foundation
- Telekom Serbia
- Yettel Serbia (ex. Telenor)
- Association of Serbian Banks
- Unicom Telecom
- VIP Mobile
- The Office for information technologies and eGovernment (Governmental CERT)
- Military Academy
- Military Security Agency
- University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies
- Independent experts
Foundation has the Board of Directors represented by Mr. Adel Abusara (President), Mr. Milan Sekuloski and Ms. Irina Rizmal, and an Executive Director is Mr. Nebojsa Jokic. All individuals who have so far participated in the work of the community may take part in the work of the Advisory Board of the Foundation and/or to participate in the implementation of activities, in accordance with the Statute of the Foundation. The Foundation’s relations with organizations and institutions will be regulated by memorandums of understanding.
Cybersecurity Network Foundation acts as a center for exchange of information, knowledge and practice, as a support group in case of incidents, and as a group of potential partners in future projects and programs in the field of cybersecurity in Serbia.
So far, representatives of the following institutions and organizations have participated in the work of the Cybersecurity Network Foundation, in its informal form: