Addressing the Summit, May planned to highlight recent cyber-attacks in the UK and Europe and the danger this poses to Europe's shared security. She intended to urge member states to work more closely together to combat the threat to Europe's democratic institutions, financial systems and public sectors.
May is also offering to share UK expertise - including through the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - to help EU nations build up their own cyber-security capability and resistance to attacks. She is accompanied on the trip by Ciaran Martin, CEO of the NCSC.
Member states are invited to take part in an event hosted by the NCSC next month, following recent attempts to undermine election processes in the West. The aim is for countries to come together to share information and learn from each other's experiences in order to strengthen the collective global response to this growing threat to democracies.
The UK is not the only country reaffirming its commitement to Europe's cyber-defences from outside the EU. Norway has now decided to join the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE).
Yesterday Norway announced its plan to join the Tallinn-based CCD COE as a sponsoring nation, enabling the NATO-accredited knowledge hub to carry out cyber-defence research, training and exercises in cooperation with 21 member nations.
“Potential enlargment of our multinational team proves that our Centre continues to be attractive for Allies. We all win from being open to collaboration among like-minded nations in the cyber-domain. We welcome the decision of Norway, one of the founding allies of NATO, as this further strengthens our Centre's cyber defence expertise," said Merle Maigre, director of the NATO CCD COE.
The CCD COE is an international military organisation whose membership is open to all NATO allies, with Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States as Sponsoring Nations while Austria, Finland and Sweden are Contributing Participants, a status eligible for non-NATO nations.
Tim Hearn, director of UK government and public services at VMware emailed SC Media UK to note that: "With major cyber-attacks taking place across Europe in the first half of this year, including a catastrophic assault on our NHS system, there is a clear need for closer co-operation across the region when it comes to tackling the dangers faced by financial systems and the public sector. The work and insight provided to date by the NCSC has been excellent, and will no doubt continue to help Britain face cyber-security issues and incidents head-on. Continued leadership, support and guidance at a government level will be crucial to help drive this forward to ensure the UK, and its European cousins, do all they can to stay abreast of the evolving threat landscape."