CYBERSEC Brussels Leaders’ Foresight 2019 – Key Takeaways

One for all, all for one – that was definitely the main theme of the 2nd edition of CYBERSEC Brussels Leaders’ Foresight taking place on 20 February 2019, gathering the cybersecurity policy makers and high-level private sector representatives. We’re proud to publish the Key Takeaways, summarising the most important recommendations by the top European leaders and experts from the EU and NATO, international organisations, and the global IT industry regarding enhancing trust and security in cyberspace.

“We need to invest heavily in alliances, partnerships, norms, regulations and institutions to get the outcomes we want” highlighted Izabela Albrycht, President of the CYBERSEC Forum. “We need to build resilience and deterrence together” said Albrycht.

Below you’ll find the most crucial cybersecurity recommendations and key takeaways developed during the 2nd CYBERSEC Brussels Leaders’ Foresight 2019:

Responses to election interference should not be strictly national anymore

Sharing best practices is the crucial first step to go beyond a very general level of cooperation. Working together – to make sure that the two relevant institutions involved in elections, the EU and NATO, are getting the kind of information they need – is a must.

The level of resilience as well as the mindsets and the political willingness to take action vary across EU member states. This makes the negotiations at the EU level difficult. The EU needs to have a general approach on election interference and to keep the level of attention and alert constant. It must be able to react quickly.

EU member states have been encouraged to organise themselves into new networks so that they can exchange experience, learn from each other and take steps on cybersecurity, tackling disinformation and protecting personal data. This will also allow them to establish rapid alert mechanisms in order to flag disinformation campaigns.

See the full recording of the discussion panel on the elections in the digital era:

Reaching the EU connectivity objectives will require a level of investment close to EUR 500 bn per year

The EU sets its connectivity aims regarding 5G development. According to those, until 2025:

- Operators will have to start providing, on a commercial basis, 5G services in all urban areas as well as along major transport routes.

- At least one city in each member state will have to be provided with 5G services which is important because it will enable operators to face real-life challenges and to develop the best solutions for further 5G deployment in the country.

The agreement on the new EU telecommunications code will aim at avoiding an investment gap of EUR 155 bn that would have occurred if the previous one had stayed in place.

Watch the fireside chat on the cybersecurity of the Digital Single Market:


Structural challenges for the future internet security require the EU and non-EU European nations to act together

In the era of globalised technology, it is more important than ever that the effort we make is global as well. There are limitations to what Europe can do on its own in the era of American and Chinese technology domination.

There are two structural challenges for the future of internet security:

- Security of the telecommunications infrastructure.

- Improvement of structural flaws in the wider internet environment.

See the full speech by Ciaran Martin, CEO of the UK National Cyber Security Centre:

We need to build foundations for a coherent European defence system

Allied Heads of State and Government should remain fully committed to implement the important initiatives that have been set up in recent years in the field of cyber defence – i.e. NATO’s Cyber Defence Pledge or the EU’s Digital Europe Programme.

All defence instruments and programmes that are being developed by the EU nowadays – i.e. Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), the European Defence Fund (EDF) – have to be used in a consistent way.

Watch the recording of the panel discussion on the future of EU Cyber Defence:

Insurance policy should correspond to customers’ needs and to their threat exposure

Cyber insurance is part of a much more global system. There is no point in only buying cyber insurance policy without understanding the risks and the ways to mitigate them.

The insurance market evolves. Some of the areas will soon disappear, like for instance motor insurance because of the expected increasing role and implementation of self-driving cars. Hence, insurers could concentrate on operators of self-driving platforms, including cyber insurance policies against cyber risks. Cyber insurance is going in the direction of a dialogue and a cooperation between the insuring entity and the company where burdens are taken together.

Watch the recording of the panel discussion on cyber insurance:

AI will be a new opportunity for attackers – basic security rules regarding AI need to be implemented

Artificial Intelligence (AI) deployment will have a huge impact on international relations and on the balance of power at the global level. It will also affect our daily lives and the way we conduct business and ensure the necessary level of security. There is a tendency to over-estimate the short term impact of technologies and to under-estimate their long-term effect.

AI will be a new opportunity for attackers in terms of threat intelligence, capability to assess a system and new ways to attack. However, we need to bear in mind that basic security rules and best practices are still of huge importance. They need to be implemented even before thinking about the AI-based cybersecurity attacks.

Watch the recording of the Future Stream panel discussion:

No application in the field of energy or transport within the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) can exist without the relevant cybersecurity component

The digital runs across all three themes of the 3SI. Having the digital component crossing other fields such as energy or transportation brings a chance to build secure-by-design networks and to include a cybersecurity component from the very beginning of each project.

In the Digital 3 Seas Highway project, cross-border segments – particularly with the 5G element – are going to be crucial because they prevent siloed or national-based solutions and allow for seamless cross-border logistics, transport and a non-interrupted, equally high level of cybersecurity associated with digital infrastructures.

Commercial partners will play a crucial role in the success of the Digital 3 Seas Highway project. They have to be identified in each and every country. Public and private sectors have to work hand in hand. The private sector needs engineers and innovators to fully contribute and build digital services and products. It is not possible without a government which provides a good educational system, empowers digital tools for businesses, start-ups, and for e-government.

See the recording of the panel discussion on the Digital 3 Seas Initiative and securing the digital transformation in the region: