At CYBERSEC, European leaders to debate how to secure Europe’s Digital Decade

At CYBERSEC, European leaders to debate how to secure Europe’s Digital Decade

President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid will be one of the principal speakers at the European Cybersecurity Forum – CYBERSEC Global 2020. Known for her consistent activity to foster cybersecurity, the politician is going to speak on the first day of the conference along with Vice President of the European Commission Margrethe Vestager and Deputy Secretary General of NATO Mircea Geoană. This year’s forum, done entirely online, is taking place from 28 to 30 September.

Nearly the entire world has been forced by the COVID-19 pandemic to move a large part of business and administration activity online. Overnight, each country’s, institution’s, and organisation’s readiness for compulsory and accelerated digital transformation was put to the test. Estonia, consistent in digitalising its state governance and building a cybersecurity system since the spectacular 2007 cyberattack, had no trouble whatsoever passing this exam. President Kaljulaid explained many a time what actions and digitalisation approaches are the secret of E-stonia’s success. The country where internet access is every citizen’s constitutional right, where all important public and administrative services are available on electronic platforms, and the system security is safeguarded by a cloud backup.

– For the European countries to follow the digital leader’s path, it is essential to exchange knowledge and experiences between the EU members. A year ago, when President Kersti Kaljulaid was receiving the European CYBERSEC Award she had earned for her contribution to cybersecurity development, she said that “no country is able to guarantee internet system security on its own. To be able to think about applying analogue law to cyberspace, working towards a common understanding on the international arena is needed”. We share this view, that is why this year the motto of the conference is ‘Together Against Adversarial Internet’. We want to highlight that nothing but joint action of like-minded countries can translate into the security of the new digital world which we’ve been operating in since the pandemic – explains Izabela Albrycht, CYBERSEC Forum Chair.

Estonia’s actions as the digital leader are also watched closely by the European Union, which since the pandemic broke out has launched a range of initiatives that place secure digital transformation among the priorities. In this context, the crucial element is the initiative of EU institutions in preparing new regulations for the advancing digitalisation processes, which could serve as a model for the rest of the world. A case in point is 5G Toolbox, the set of measures to reduce risks in fifth-generation network cybersecurity approved by the European Commission, or the already begun revision process for the NIS Directive – the first European law on cybersecurity. The progress in this respect, given also President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen’s address which announced earmarking for digital projects 20% of the 750 billion euro in the recovery fund to rebuild economies after the pandemic, will be recounted by the process supervisor, Vice President of the European Commission Margrethe Vestager.

The upcoming CYBERSEC is going to be fundamentally important for the public debate on technology development directions as regards not only the European Union but also NATO. Many technologies are dual use, with both civilian and military applications, hence for some time NATO has been putting heavy emphasis on establishing policies on innovative solutions, consulting in strategic aspects of disruptive technologies, and trailblazing inventive research. These are the main tasks of the twelve-strong Advisory Group on emerging and disruptive technologies appointed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg; among its members is Izabela Albrycht. In NATO, the person responsible for this process is Deputy Secretary General of NATO Mircea Geoană, who along with CYBERSEC Chair will be one of the main guests to inaugurate this year’s conference.

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