On October 26-27, an event titled "Critical Infrastructure Defense Challenge 2023" (CIDC-2023) took place at the Baku Congress Center in Azerbaijan. This event was organized jointly by the State Service of Special Communication and Informatıon Security of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the State Security Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in collaboration with the Association of Cybersecuirty Organizations of Azerbaijan (ACOA).
At the opening of the event, General-Lieutenant Ilqar Musayev the head of the State Servıce of Specıal Communication and Information Security of the Republic of Azerbaijan, General-Colonel Ali Nağıyev the head of the State Security Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Taleh Kazimov the Chairman of the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Tahir Mirkishili member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy, Industry and Entrepreneurship, Orxan Mammadov the Chairman of the Management Board of the Agency for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Samir Mammadov the Deputy Minister of Digital Development and Transport of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Dovlet Dovletov Deputy general director of "Azerconnect" company and the Vice-President for External Affairs and Communications of "BP" in the Caspian region, Bakhthiyar Aslanbayli delivered speeches.
During the event, there were 10 presentations covering various relevant topics, along with 5 panel discussions featuring both local and international experts in the field of information security and cybersecurity. These discussions included topics such as "The Significance of CERTs in Safeguarding Critical Infrastructures," "Emerging Cyber Threats in the New Era," "Initiating Information Security Measures: Where to Begin?" and "Feasibility of Robust Cyberattack Defense." Additionally, a panel discussion on "Ensuring the Efficacy of Cyber Defense for Critical Information Infrastructures," moderated by Elvin Balajanov, Chairman of the ACOA Board.
Within the event, a pioneering "Cyber War" competition was organized in Azerbaijan, aimed at enhancing the skills required to safeguard critical information systems against cyber threats and effectively manage information systems during crisis scenarios. The competition saw the participation of 20 IT teams, each comprising 3-5 members, representing state institutions, critical infrastructure organizations, banks, and telecommunications enterprises. Over the course of two days, these teams engaged in a virtual warfare exercise, simulating cyber attacks and responding to security challenges in the virtual information systems, thus testing their abilities to protect against cyber threats.
It's worth mentioning that, as part of the event, "master classes" were organized in six distinct areas, catering to both beginners and professionals. These specialized training sessions were led by both local and international experts.
To conclude the event, certificates of recognition were awarded to sponsors, partners, trainer-experts, and the teams that took part in the "Cyber War" competition in recognition of their valuable contributions.
It's important to highlight that the CIDC-2023 event was designed with the goal of enhancing the expertise, knowledge and skills of professionals working in the field of information security and cybersecurity, particularly within critical information infrastructure. This encompasses government agencies, the financial and telecommunications sectors, with the broader aim of facilitating networking and reinforcing coordination among specialists, companies and organizations operating in this domain.