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Cyber the main focus of US-Africa military exercise

Cyber is set to be the key focus of an international military exercise between the US and over a dozen nations in Africa.

user icon Daniel Croft
Thu, 29 Dec 2022
Credit: Army Sgt. Neysa Huertas Quinones / U.S. Army
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The Justified Accord 23 (JA23) will see the US work with African forces from nations including Kenya and Uganda in developing stronger cyber practices, at a time where awareness around the importance of cyber in both civilian and military aspects is growing rapidly.

“Cyber space is an increasingly important aspect of our daily lives, and it effects both our civilian and military operations,” said the Army Southern European Task Force’s Lt Col Kendra Tippet.

“It is critical we understand the threats in cyber space and effectively defend against them.”

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JA23 will see specific skills such as containment, eradication, incident detection and intelligence collection better developed.

“Working together in cyber space with our African partners and sharing our best practices will ultimately enhance our ability to defend against malign actors who seek to degrade critical infrastructure and impede military and civilian operations,” added Lt Col Tippet.

Cyber has begun to play an increasing role in warfare, with the conflict in Ukraine putting a spotlight on cyber warfare as the first major conflict to feature widespread cyber operations.

While there has been a focus placed on China and Russia by the US on the threat of cyber warfare, Africa raises concern as it is the most hacked continent in the world.

According to the head of security engineering at EMEA – Africa, Issam El Haddioui, the average number of cyber attacks per week in Africa is 1,848, considerably higher than the international weekly average of 1,164.

Army Cyber Command exercise planner Bruce Barry points out that Africa should not be overlooked.

“Cyber threats have become part of everyday life, and Africa is not immune,” he said.

“The more we exchange cyber security best practices with our African partner nations, the better we and our partners will be postured to protect both civilian and military networks that are critical to our combined security.”

Developing cyber skills across international relationships has been a focus for nations worldwide, including Australia which recently held the ADF’s Cyber Skills Challenge.

In reference to the event, Vice Admiral Craig Clapperton, Commander, US Fleet Cyber Command, pointed out the borderless nature of cyber warfare and cyber attacks, and the importance of nations working together.

“Cyber threats and challenges are not limited by borders, and by working together, learning together, and challenging ourselves, we sharpen our cyber warfighters and partnerships.”

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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