In what has become a Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) tradition, the NORSEC 2016 conference was organized by the YATA Norway chapter and held in partnership with the Norwegian Military Academy on April 2-3, 2016. This year’s NORSEC hosted both international and Norwegian participants, and was designed to bring together young professionals to discuss matters of security and defence. The Military Academy, or Krigsskolen (War School in Norwegian), was an apt venue for the event, which explored cyber security in modern warfare. The topic drew lines across the increasingly important field of cyber security and more traditional security fields like national defence and armed forces.
Ian Goertz, Research Fellow at the Mackenzie Institute, was selected as an international participant for the conference, which also hosted a number of young professionals from across Europe with Ian being the only one to make the trip from across the Atlantic.
The event was split into two days: the first day saw experts from across Norway and abroad to discuss and lecture on the topic at hand, with the second day exposing the participants to one of the Academy Crisis Simulations run entirely by officers from the school.
Day One featured experts in a variety of fields and backgrounds discussing the implications of the global security climate, cyber security and modern warfare. The discussions by academics, professionals and current and former representatives of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence was best summarized by Dr. Sokratis K. Katsikas who stated, “are we under cyber attack? Yes, we as society, are.” During the evening, the international participants were treated to a guided tour of the Akershus Fortress before a meal at the Oslo Military Society.
Day Two featured a unique experience for the international participants: the opportunity to participate in one of the Academy’s Crisis Simulations. The event, which had its share of ups and downs during the negotiations was an overwhelming success. It strongly represented the excellent educational and practical experiences associated with being a student at the Academy.
The event brought together a strong showing of young professionals from Norway and abroad, and highlighted one of the most important elements of modern security: the need for discussion and the sharing of ideas.