The underlying theme for this one-day conference is how to secure key functionalities of government in a less disruptive, more resilient way against various threats and to sustain trust. On the one hand there are well-known but intensifying threats to the public sector, such as malware, spyware and in particular APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats). In addition, there are new categories of threats imminent through a myriad of new attack vectors stemming from the evolving Internet of Things and through cyber-physical attacks, e.g. on critical infrastructure such as power plants. On top of this, cyber-societal attacks will have deep implications on a nation or a group of nations by manipulating public opinion through fake news and intentionally produced reputational damage. All of this is related to analysing the use of highly topical cyber technology in attacks, and to apply it for situational awareness and defence.
The goal of this event was to foster a coherent debate, the exchange of best practices and to promote further actions based on the most recent policy decisions and relevant activities of both EU and NATO, as well as for respective Member States with special emphasize on the methods to strengthen resilience.
This was done by stock-taking of the current threat landscape and Cyber security concepts in order to contribute to a broader common situational picture, by discussing technological solutions against identified and upcoming threats, and by discussing how additionally challenges to the stability of democratic societies by destabilising attacks e.g. through social media can be met, thereby focussing on the human factor.
The conference therefore was conducted in 3 sessions in which
A – Cyber-physical and cyber-societal threats are analyzed and governmental as well as supranational capabilities – or deficiencies - are assessed. Already today it is obvious that also non-state partners will have to play an increasing role (“clarifying the situation”);
B – New technological tools were presented and discussed, those not yet in the field just recently debuted on the market (“new IT tools”);
C – The final session focused on methods and means to foster resilience by other factors beyond information technology (“more needs to be done…”).
The target audience for this conference were senior civil servants from EU institutions, NATO institutions and representatives of their respective Member State Delegations as well as from industry affected by or providing solutions for this specific situation.