Estonia: How Estonians became pioneering cyberdefenders |

Ahead of spring elections, Agu Kivimägi was tasked with trying to ensure that online voting in Estonia wasn’t vulnerable to attack. Its pioneering system of casting national ballots via the Internet would be a hacker’s prize target.

After the ballots were counted, returning Estonia’s center-right government to power, e-voting escaped assault – or any technical difficulties, for that matter. Mr. Kivimägi, who oversees computer security for Estonia’s Interior department, is part of the world’s first volunteer cyberarmy, deployed this year to help ward off hacker strikes and defend against online warfare.

Made up of Estonia’s best information technology (IT) minds, from programmers to lawyers, the 150-member Cyber Defense League is Estonia’s cyber national guard. Should Estonia come under attack, they would deploy under the command of the National Defense League, a volunteer force created to safeguard the country’s security and independence.