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NATO cyber defence course at NUPS

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NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence held its first offsite course in Budapest between 25-29 January 2016. The course titled “Introductory Digital Forensics” was jointly organized by the Hungarian Defence Staff CIS and IS Directorate and NUPS, and was held at the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training at NUPS.

The main target group of the event consisted of professionals and system administrators whose job is to detect and manage the anomalies occurring in IT systems and to efficiently conduct researches in this area. Dr.(COL) Károly Kassai, Director of the Hungarian Defence Staff CIS and IS Directorate emphasized the importance of continuous development in the field of national cyber defence and their relevance for the Hungarian Defence Forces. The support of national cyber defence also requires inter-institutional cooperation which also includes the National University of Public Service.

In fact, the involvement of NUPS also supported NATO CCD COE’s goal of handing over the entire training package to the sponsor nation in the future, thereby realizing the “train the trainers” concept.

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Erasmus+ Success: A Strategic Partnership in Military Education

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The Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training at NUPS was among the successful competitors to establish strategic partnership with other military higher education institutions in the framework of the Erasmus+ Programme. Preparations are already underway with the first transnational meeting held between 9-11 December in Wroclaw, Poland.

Through the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training, NUPS is a member of an international consortium which is led by the Tadeusz Kościuszko Military Academy of Land Forces (Wroclaw, Poland) and includes the Theresan Military Academy (Wiener Neustadt, Austria), the University of Defence (Brno, Czech Republic) and the “Nicolae Balcescu” Land Forces Academy (Sibiu, Romania).

The participants’ joint project titled “Creating International Semester regarding Military Education Needs for Future Officers in Europe” is primarily aimed at boosting mobility particularly between military academies and higher education institutions within the EU. This would help cadets to gain additional skills and experience in an international environment while visiting partner institutions abroad.

Moreover, the project can advance the establishment of guidelines for coherent programmes in military education within the European Union. The ultimate goal of the project is to establish an international mobility semester among military higher education institutions thereby allowing cadets to study abroad without the additional obligation of passing programme differences.

The project of the consortium was accepted by the Polish National Agency of Erasmus+ Programme and received nearly EUR 220,000 support and is to be realized in 24 months until October 2017. The negotiations with consortium partners are already on their way. Accordingly, the project includes transnational project meetings (workshops) between members of the project management team in order to develop educational materials, and so-called multiplier events (such as conferences) where ideas on the international semester can be presented.

Preparing the Comprehensive Defence Index

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The Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training (FMOT) of NUPS hosted a conference on the possible solutions for measuring the level of national defence and on the preparation of the Comprehensive Defence Index (CDI) on 19 November 2015. In his opening speech, Dr. (Col.) Gábor Boldizsár, Dean of FMOT reminded that the preparation of CDI is in its first stage with increased emphasis on the issues related to human resources.

Dr. Tamás Kaiser, Head of the Institute of the Science of the State and Governance highlighted the concept of the Good State as one of the aspects of defence, emphasizing that the establishment of the Good State will be efficient if governance is state-centric and if society displays adequate trust in the work of the state and the defence sector. Nonetheless, leadership has faced complex issues in the last few years. Many organizations create data bases for the analysis of these problems, however, the objectivity of these data bases is debatable and sometimes rely on outdated data.

Accordingly, there is a need for a national evaluation framework that can provide – via various indicators – a quantifiable and easy to interpret pieces of data. CDI is prepared with such method with the evaluation creating an own reliable, up-to-date data base which could be useful not only in describing the current situation but in further developing defence.

Colonel Boldizsár added that CDI is being improved further and further through the continuous negotiations and evaluations. The primary goal is the display of the status of the armed forces and the credible description of the situation of national defence, making the latter able for measurement. The core thought of the initiative is that the intention (political will) and capability (material and human resources) can lead jointly to active engagement, thus these three factors should be analyzed jointly when assessing the success of defence.

Subsequently, Dr. (Capt.) Balázs Forgács displayed the political determination of defence policy through Carl von Clausewitz’s theory on the relationship between the armed forces and the state, which carried forth the thought that activity does not occur without political will. Furthermore, in his presentation titled “Goals and Tasks in Relation to the State, Society and the Armed Forces”, Dr. József Kaló reminded that while “the armed forces do not directly create goods”, the balance of politics, society and the armed forces has a great importance in a state’s life. Should this balance be tipped, or should there be no continuous dialogue between the actors, the system will show faults.

Captain Krisztián Sztankai held a presentation on the interoperability of public education, whereas Dr. (Lt.Col.) László Ujházy talked about the importance of reservist system and the possibilities for utilizing the know-how of reservists in his presentation titled “Bridge between the Armed Forces and Society: the Role of Reservists and Reservist Alliances Today”. Dr. (Lt.Col.) Zoltán Jobbágy and Judit Stummer talked about the new supplies in human resources, the KatonaSuli programme and the results of the subject “Basics of national defence”. They reminded that although the opportunities in higher education could also lead students toward the reservist system, in most cases, they are not motivated to establish a legal contract on reservist status.

Dávid Kiss, PhD student at the Doctoral School of Military Sciences, held a presentation on the relationship between the armed forces and national economy, reminding the audience that since all countries view the spending on national defence as sensitive information, it is difficult to utilize such data in an open analysis. Closing the event, Ibolya Bokros Tünde focused her presentation on what kind of soldiers do the Hungarian Defence Forces require. Emphasizing the importance of human resources, she revealed the training opportunities of soldiers, the importance of gaining know-how and experience, as well as the necessity of language and professional trainings.

NUPS participates in NATO’s cyber defence researches

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Last week saw the publication of the report reviewing cyber defence organizations in Hungary, prepared by Prof. Dr. László Kovács, Vice-Dean for Science and International Affairs at the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training of NUPS and Gergely Szentgáli from the Hungarian Ministry of Defence.

The document displays the domestic information society’s level of development, briefly reviews the situation of domestic e-government, and provides an elaborative introduction of the Hungarian strategic documents on cyber defence and the related legal environment. The study has a separate focus on organizations that provide cyber defence in Hungary.

The situation of NATO members regarding cyber defence is mapped by experts under the leadership of NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. This study is a part of a series that displays the national cyber defence organizations of NATO allies, the tasks of these organizations, and ultimately these countries’ capabilities in cyber defence, thereby providing an opportunity to compare their situation in cyber security.

The study reviewing domestic cyber defence organizations is available here.