Cybersecurity and, more broadly, issues connected with cyberspace, have risen to the rank of strategic, global challenges. On the one hand, over the last few decades we have witnessed unprecedented opportunities for general development: economic, political, social, and individual. On the other, we are now facing completely new categories of threats, with potentially catastrophic consequences. All stakeholders, even the non-governmental ones, who, in the past, had limited or no tools enabling them to effectively influence the world around, now have comparatively easy access to technologies that may potentially impact entire international security systems. The Web has become a tremendous source of influence.
In order to safely use and develop the potential of cyberspace, global collaboration and engagement of all stakeholders are absolutely necessary. Europe is an extremely important element of this ecosystem and should be actively engaged in all processes affecting global cybersecurity. One of the key steps necessary for developing the best ideas and the most practical solutions is to create a platform where different points of view can be presented, confronted, and debated.
At a challenging time for Europe, The Kosciuszko Institute addresses this very important issue by the number of projects, publications and reports focusing on cybersecurity.
The Kosciuszko Institute is an independent, non-governmental research institute that was founded in 2000 as a non-profit organisation. The institute drafts expert reports and policy recommendations for European and Polish decision makers. The Kosciuszko Institute strives to be a leader of positive change, to create and to promote the best solutions, not only for Poland, but also for Europe and neighbouring states which are in the process of building states based on the rule of law, civil society, and a free market economy. Studies prepared by the institute have not only served as the basis for significant legislative reforms but also as a factual support for the ongoing activities of strategic decision makers.
Since 2011, the Kosciuszko Institute is a leading research in the framework of the project “Target: Cybersecurity”, which was a response to the growing need for actions towards assuring the safe functioning of states, commercial entities and citizens in cyberspace.
Kosciuszko Institute is the organiser of the European Cybersecurity Forum – CYBERSEC.
Its mission is to support and facilitate the development of strategic, cybersecurity-focused decisions for Europe and also build a dedicated platform for co-operation among government representatives, non-governmental organisations, and key private-sector organisations.
The CYBERSEC Forum is the first conference of its kind in Poland and one of just a few regular public policy conferences devoted to the strategic issues of cyberspace and cybersecurity in Europe. It promotes practical recommendations that increase resilience to cyberthreats, at both micro and macro levels (specific economic sectors, countries, EU as a whole). Through dialogue oriented and targeted approach to specific challenges, CYBERSEC provides a strong cross-stakeholder impulse for increased awareness and urgency in developing solutions that reach beyond national borders and enhance collaborative efforts. In particular, our recommendations help strengthen co-operation between the Visegrad Group, the countries of the Baltic Countries and other countries of Central Europe.
The second edition of CYBERSEC Forum took place in Krakow, 26 September 2016. This year's edition of has gathered over 600 delegates from 20 countries along with 120 speakers taking the floor during two days of intensive debates. The conference has brought together top experts from the USA, Israel, Canada, and other partner countries. Among the speakers who attended the conference were: Luigi Rebuffi, Secretary General of the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO); Jamie Shea, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges; Pierre Chastanet, Deputy Head of Unit Trust & Security in the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission; Melissa Hathaway, former cybersecurity expert in two U.S. presidential administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama; currently a senior advisor at Harvard University; Alastair Teare, CEO Deloitte Central Europe.
Same as last year, CYBERSEC panel discussions have been held around the four familiar thematic streams: State, Military, Future, and Business. The conference has also covered new and interesting formats, including sessions focusing on cybercrime.
The State Stream was devoted to facilitating strategic cross-stakeholder cooperation among the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in order to develop a regional cybersecurity system. The experts were also discussing the implementation of the recently adopted Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive.
The Military Stream was focused on issues related to cyberdefence capabilities of NATO member states. Discussions have drew upon the conclusions of the July 2016 NATO Summit in Warsaw during which a declaration of strategic cooperation between NATO and the EU in the area of cybersecurity and hybrid threats was made and cyberspace was recognized as an operational domain of warfare. In addition, the experts were discussing the fight against terrorism by means of cyber tools and the methods used by terrorists to communicate and gather information.
The Future Stream has examined the challenges posed by an increasing shortage of cyber professionals. The session participants were deliberating about promoting and developing innovative cybersecurity products and services as they are fundamental to winning the race and gaining advantage over hackers in cyberspace.
In the Business Stream, the experts have concentrated on creating mechanisms for effective public-private partnerships and the cybersecurity of industrial control systems.
The European Cybersecurity Journal (ECJ) is a specialised quarterly publication devoted to cybersecurity, published by The Kosciuszko Institute. The main goal of the Journal is to provide concrete policy recommendations for European decision-makers and raise awareness on both issues and problem-solving instruments. The Journal had its premiere during the 1st European Cybersecurity Forum - CYBERSEC 2015.
The ECJ is a platform of regular dialogue on the most strategic aspects of cybersecurity. Subscribers of the ECJ have an opportunity to read insights on the most important trends in cybersecurity and will get to know first-hand perspectives from leading specialists.
Both the ECJ and CYBERSEC have been designed to support the general effort of increasing security and promoting stable growth opportunities across cyberspace. In the process, we have decided to include all key stakeholders: representatives of public entities, business leaders, experts, scientists, and representatives of the civil society. Bringing together so many diverse points of view is our core value. It also makes us stand out when compared to other projects addressing this subject matter from, for example, exclusively technological perspective.
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First published on Company Connecting October 2016