Estonia recruits hundreds for its Defence League Cyber UnitEstonia is also one of the most vulnerable—as brutally illustrated in 2007 when the country suffered one of the biggest cyber-attacks to date.
Acknowledging this precarious position, Estonia has assembled a volunteer army of hundreds of civilian computer experts who are committed to defending their nation against cyber-attack. As part of Estonia's reserve force, the Estonian Defence League, the recruits for this Cyber Unit include teachers, lawyers and economists.
With constantly evolving cyber-attacks becoming more frequent and complex, lack of expertise and manpower can be a major obstacle for governments to meet the climbing demands of cyber-security preparedness. Creating a pool of civilian volunteers who are available in an emergency, as Estonia has done, is a solution that could soon be seeing world-wide adoption.
General Jonathan Shaw, the former head of Britain's Defence Cyber Security Programme, believes that the UK should follow Estonia's example.
"We need a cyber reserve and that reserve should be largely civilian," General Shaw told online news sources. "Don't think camouflage, short-back-and-sides and weapons training. It's ponytails, earrings and thick spectacles – that's what we need."