4th European Cybersecurity Forum – CYBERSEC 2018 officially open

Close co-operation between Central and Eastern Europe countries regarding cybersecurity, EU’s increasing digital potential and strong transatlantic bonds in this respect – these are the main themes of the 4th European Cybersecurity Forum – CYBERSEC 2018 starting today. This conference, organised by the Kosciuszko Institute, is one of the most important events devoted to cybersecurity in Europe.

The CYBERSEC Forum provides two days of intense debates, over 140 speakers and nearly 1,000 participants from all over the world. Similarly to previous years, debates will be held within four thematic fields: State, Defence, Future and Business. The panels will focus on, inter alia, trust in cyberspace, cyber autonomy, blockchain technology and quantum computing. The issue of personal data protection in the digital world, which is extremely valid due to GDPR, will also be discussed.

“After four years, CYBERSEC is no longer merely a 2-day conference. It’s a ‘CYBERSEC Community’, connecting cybersecurity experts from around the world. Our joint mission consists in safeguarding trust, which should be the foundation of cyberspace. We, those who know how sensitive this structure is, are obliged to do it. CYBERSEC 2018’s mission is a quest for cyber trust, including creating safe ICT products, sharing information on cyber threats, international co-operation and thinking about cybersecurity as a guarantee and prerequisite of a digital revolution,” said Izabela Albrycht, President of the Kosciuszko Institute, CYBERSEC’s main organiser, during the opening of this year’s conference.

The idea of the Digital Three Seas, initiated by the Kosciuszko Institute, and co-operation of CEE countries on cybersecurity will be one of the most important subjects discussed during the Forum.

 “Geopolitical tensions in our region generate threats, which are increasingly frequently reflected in cyberspace. Our region is threatened by attacks directed at key ICT systems, but also by disinformation and manipulative activities carried out online,” says Joanna Świątkowska, PhD, CYBERSEC Programme Director, and adds that from this point of view, the co-operation between our region and the EU and NATO partners is extremely important. “Threats faced by CEE, including Poland, are to some extent concurrent with the rest of Europe, but this region is also a testing ground for numerous attacks, which may be later repeated towards other players,” she says.

CYBERSEC is held several days after the Three Seas summit in Bucharest, where the co-operation between the states from the region in the digital sphere was expressly stressed. Meanwhile, a few days ago President Donald Trump’s administration adopted the “National Cyber Strategy”, the first, since 2003, document of the American administration, comprehensively describing the USA strategy, including the international plan of co-operation with allied states, the “Cyber Deterrence Initiative”. “We believe that the strategic engagement of the US government in CEE concerning cybersecurity is necessary not only in order to increase cybersecurity competences in the region, but also to increase cyber resistance in the USA,” adds Izabela Albrycht.

Honouring Melissa Hathaway, former Cybersecurity Advisor in George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, with the European CYBERSEC Award demonstrates particular attention paid by the CYBERSEC organisers to transatlantic relations. - Cybersec is one of the most important platforms for cybersecurity in Europe, thank you so much for this incredible honour to be here with you.- said Hathaway upon receiving the prize.

The Role of women in the development of ICT is amongst the important and noticeable trends of global debate on cybersecurity, therefore it had to be included in this year’s agenda. - “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women. Stand out from the crowd and see what happens! Women in cybersecurity - we must stick together! Buckle up for a ride to cybersecurity land! Make your dreams come true”,- stressed  Mary-Jo de Leeuw, co-founder and Vice President of Women in Cyber Security Foundation.

This year’s conference will be attended by, inter alia, Antonio Missiroli – Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO (it will be his first visit to Poland); Jadwiga Emilewicz – Polish Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology; Marek Zagórski – Polish Minister of Digital Affairs; Tomasz Zdzikot – Secretary of State, Polish Ministry of National Defence, John Frank – Vice President, EU Government Affairs, Microsoft; Ambassador Marina Kaljurand – Chair, Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace; Former Minister, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; as well as Ambassador Sorin Ducaru – Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute; Former Assistant Secretary General, Emerging Security Challenges, NATO, Katie Moussouris – famous hacker and pioneer of bug bounty aimed at discovering and resolving bugs, Founder & CEO, Luta Security; Edna Conway – Chief Security Officer, Global Value Chain w Cisco; Pablo Chavez – Vice President, Global Public Policy and Government Relations, Google Cloud.

The CYBERSEC Forum is organised by the Kosciuszko Institute, a leading non-governmental R&D non-profit organisation, established in 2000. This think tank’s mission is to support social and economic development as well as security of Poland as an active EU and NATO member. The Institute specialises in creating strategic recommendations and directions of development of key public policies providing substantial support for Polish and European political decision-makers. More information: https://ik.org.pl/en/.