Romanian Ambassador to US Speaks on Cybersecurity

Moderated by: GWU Center for Cyber and Homeland Security Director Frank Cilluffo

Romanian Ambassador

On December 5, 2017, George Cristian Maior, the Ambassador of Romania to the United States, spoke at The George Washington University as part of the broader GWU Center for Cyber and Homeland Security’s International Cybersecurity Leaders Forum. The event was moderated by Frank Cilluffo, the Director of the GWU Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. During his address, Amb. Maior offered an overview of the cyber threat environment including the intersection of cybersecurity and hybrid warfare as well as the greater prevalence of disinformation. Amb. Maior also spoke about multilateral initiatives between NATO states and the strategic partnership between Romania and the US.

On cybersecurity, Amb. Maior posited acting reactively is no longer enough now that the threat environment has expanded to include criminal enterprises, states, and activist organizations. Instead, states should develop a “prepare, deter, and detect” model for cybersecurity. In this vein, Amb. Maior highlighted Romania’s integrated cybersecurity model that gives Romanian officials a stronger understanding of cyber threats and the ability to react faster and with more certainty. This new model, which Romania began implementing in 2011, stresses intelligence-sharing and coordination across government agencies and ministries to counteract the confusion cyber attacks are oftentimes intended to create.

Amb. Maior also suggested that collaboration between states and public-private partnerships are essential to combating chronic cyber vulnerabilities. In 2017, Romania hosted a cybersecurity simulation involving public and private cybersecurity specialists. The event was so successful according to Amb. Maior that Romania has permanently installed it as an annual exercise. Amb. Maior also discussed the importance of new NATO and EU programs to enhance cybersecurity. He stressed the value of state collaboration, arguing that enhanced collaboration contributes to higher levels of resilience and better coordinated responses against malicious actors. Amb. Maior also underscored the importance of including cyber defense within NATO’s core tasks and the 2016 cybersecurity agreement between the EU and NATO.