Estonia: A Hub of Cyber Innovation

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Estonia packs a punch in the cyber domain. The country is a world leader in cyber-related innovation, and it has charted that course without compromising security. Estonia initially gained global attention as a cyber-target, seeking to overcome a series of organized attacks in 2007 widely attributed to Russian groups.  Estonia emerged energetically from those attacks, going beyond devising a coherent and expansive cyber-strategy calibrated defensively, to being one of the most wired countries in the world.  

Estonia’s enterprising initiatives include e-Residency, which recently marked its one-year anniversary. Surpassing official expectations, the program has attracted 7,000 participants, with next to no marketing effort. The digital identity allows individuals to establish and run a business from afar, as well as gain entry into the broader European market; though it does not confer the right of physical entry into Estonia or the European Union. By leveraging the country’s e-services, in particular the means by which to transact securely online, Estonia can effectively “become big,” in a borderless world. At launch, authorities stated that they hoped to have 10 million e-residents by 2025; an ambitious goal for a country of approximately 1.3 million people.

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