Event Details

28 – 29 SEPTEMBER 2020

At CYBERSEC 2020 we will rally under the banner Together Against Adversarial Internet following four thematic streams: STATE, DEFENCE, BUSINESS AND FUTURE.


Mircea Geoană – Deputy Secretary General, NATO
Mateusz Morawiecki – Prime Minister, Poland (TBC)
Ursula von der Leyen – President, European Commission (TBC)


As part of this thematic path, we will focus on the complex and multi-faceted problem of how the technology should be regulated to let it develop in a secure and robust but enhanced manner. It is widely known that – given the fast pace of innovation – regulations hardly keep up with emerging technologies, thus it is necessary in this respect to make the process more agile and to involve in the debate a wide range of stakeholders, including private sector actors, independent experts and representatives of civil society. This can prevent harmful overregulation which hampers further innovation process. And we need these innovations more than ever as the technology can help us rebuild our economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. But at the same time, we need to avoid a situation in which adversarial technologies underpin the new digital world. So to keep the world running we need to deploy secure digital solutions. The Internet should foster prosperity and well-being of societies, and cybersecurity as well as responsible behaviour in cyberspace are crucial prerequisites for this to happen. All existing bottom-up and multi-stakeholder initiatives are proofs that there is a will and potential which we can build on, and the efforts must be well coordinated and extended to a wide number of entities and countries. Good internet governance is needed more than ever. All adversarial uses of Internet that impact societies – such as disinformation, spreading fake news or using tools to increase surveillance – should be curbed, and like-minded countries from around the world should work together on tangible solutions ensuring the peaceful and safe Internet ecosystem.

Keynote STATE presentation:

Matthew Kroenig – Deputy Director, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security; Director, Global Strategy Initiative, Atlantic Council (TBC


Towards a global surveillance society? The race between authoritarian and democratic practices of digital governance

The omnipresence of technological tools – from basic smartphones to advanced IoT devices – is transforming societies to their very core, changing interaction between people and remodelling the way states carry out their duties. Leading by example, the world’s digital frontrunners, such as Estonia and Taiwan, demonstrate how digital solutions can be an efficient way to administer and protect citizens in ordinary as well as extraordinary times. Like-minded countries are effectively looking for ways to use technology for the common good, and one of these examples is the EU toolbox for the use of mobile applications for contact tracing and warning in response to the coronavirus pandemic published in April. However, as disconcerting and unfortunate as it can be, the democratisation of digitisation that we observe is in other instances not always necessarily coupled to the implementation of and respect for democratic values and principles. The use of ICT to monitor, repress and manipulate domestic and foreign populations – also called digital authoritarianism – is on the rise and spreading quickly along with worldwide technology deployment. It is therefore crucial to strengthen and support a model of democratic digital governance in order to protect citizens’ fundamental individual rights and freedoms – if not globally, then in as many countries as possible.

Providing a global overview of the current state of play of democratic and authoritarian digital practices in government, the discussion will aim to explore the means to counter the rise of digital authoritarianism around the world, drawing the line between the use of digital technologies for the good of society and as an adversarial means of repression and surveillance. Panellists will review existing initiatives in the field and propose a set of principles that could fit into a global framework for democratic digital governance.


Margrethe Vestager – Executive Vice-President, European Commission
H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid – President of the Republic of Estonia (TBC)
H. E. Egils Levits – President of the Republic of Latvia (TBC)
The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE – Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, United Kingdom (TBC)
Host: Joanna Świątkowska – Assistant Professor, AGH University of Science and Technology; Initiator & CYBERSEC Programme Director (2014-2019)

Cybersecurity in the era of decoupling in the digital supply chain

Keynote Speech:

Marek Zagórski – Polish Minister of Digital Affairs

Introductory presentation:

The Technology Alliance Project considers how technology will be at the centre of the new era of great power competition and aims to coordinate multinational technology policy. The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) initiated the project with the understanding that whoever leads in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, and next-generation telecommunications will garner economic, military and political strength for decades.

The project is a collaboration of researchers from CNAS, the Asia-Pacific Initiative (API) and the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). They will present the findings of the first phase of the project: a blueprint for a new international technology policy organization.

Martijn Rasser – Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program, Center for a New American Security (CNAS)
Shin Oya – Senior Consulting Fellow, Asia-Pacific Initiative
Rebecca Arcesati – Analyst, Mercator Institute for China Studies

Cybersecurity in the era of decoupling in the digital supply chain

Panel discussion:

Geoeconomic and geopolitical affairs are nowadays increasingly influenced by technology-related factors. Emerging digital technologies such as 5G or artificial intelligence exacerbated the global struggle for power and domination. Summarising the situation some might say that whoever leads in their development will, by leveraging the technology’s importance, ultimately rule the world. But the year 2020 highlighted a major and often overlooked obstacle on the way to technological supremacy: global digital supply chains. The COVID-19 pandemic is indeed unveiling the dangers of an overreliance on manufacturing capacities and rare-earths (being at the very bottom of the chain), especially related to the critical parts of the nations’ economies and located in distant parts of the world. What is more, it is often combined with tense and difficult relations in the area of foreign trade, e.g. between the US and China. Added to cybersecurity concerns, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the idea and process of decoupling in the technology sphere and restored the value of the technological sovereignty and pursuit to reduce reliance on foreign suppliers. But technological interdependency is like the modern Gordian knot.
The aim of the discussion will be to explore the benefits and challenges associated with the process of decoupling as regards the cybersecurity of technology devices and infrastructure. Panellists will assess the situation in the
light of the semiconductor industry (being critical to global economic competitiveness) as well as the deployment of 5G infrastructure.


Julian King – European Commissioner for Security Union (2016-2019)
Ulf Pehrsson – Vice President; Head of Government and Industry Relations, Ericsson
Ravi Shankar Prasad – Indian Minister of Electronics & Information Technology (TBC)
Host: Martijn Rasser – Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program, Center for a New American Security (CNAS)

One step closer to a secure digital democracy – defending elections against hostile interference

Elections are the backbone of democracy. In recent years however, they have also become a prime target for adversaries trying to destabilise a number of them. 2020 will be no exception and with key strategic votes taking place around the globe, an unprecedented level of pressure will be put on electoral processes. In the face of ever increasing and more sophisticated disinformation campaigns as well as growing concerns over the security of voting equipment and integrity of e-voting election systems, all stakeholders – state and private actors – should be able to effectively prevent such misconduct and protect their systems against it.

The objective of the session will be to discuss multifaceted digitally-related threats and assess the role and responsibility of each player in the process of securing elections, especially as COVID-19 may trigger a massive need to hold elections online – presidential, municipal, and parliamentary amongst them. The exchange of best practices and solutions based on past and present experiences is of utmost importance.


David Carroll – Associate Professor, Media Design, Parsons School for Design
Marietje Schaake – International Policy Director, Cyber Policy Center, Stanford University; President, CyberPeace Institute
Anne Neuberger – Director, Cybersecurity Directorate, NSA (TBC)
Host: Matthew Rosenberg – National Security Correspondent, the New York Times; National Security Analyst, CNN


Humans in the history of civilization could never fully predict the final impact of a given technology on the economy as well as the opportunities it could bring. As we are now approaching the future at an accelerated pace, it is worth highlighting that even though the uncertainty is embedded in the process of technological change and future technologies are to a large extent unknown, we need to come together to prevent the world from having a rough ride coming to a dead end due to the win of adversarial technology use. The technologies of the future will be both great opportunities and challenges for humanity in the context of emerging and previously unknown threats. Creators and providers of emerging digital products and services will have the utmost duty to ensure the safety of communities against the malicious and adversarial use of these tools. There is also particular responsibility vested in the public sector for how nations are going to deploy the technologies of the future, face the challenges and minimise threats associated with it. Technological tools should always empower humanity. Eventually, we must remember that it depends on people whether it will be used for good or for adversarial purposes.

Keynote FUTURE presentation:



Hacking humans – threats to digital identity

The human race has been on the journey of self-exploration for a very long time now, whether through scientific research within disciplines like biology and medicine or by taking a cognitive approach and investigating the human nature from a psychological and philosophical point of view. The expedition to the core of humanity has evolved and what was previously built up in the minds of the greatest thinkers is now very often outsourced to big data algorithms. Technology gives us the opportunity to study ourselves in a more in-depth manner by investigating various characteristic and mechanisms occurring in our organisms: biometric processing enables digital analysis of peoples’ appearance, movements and emotions shown through facial expressions and behaviours; physiological data hidden under our skin can help decode real emotions (visible for instance in body temperature or heartbeat changes); neuro-measurements make it possible to recognize thought patterns; and genetic testing helps us discover less visible characteristics like proneness to illnesses or ancestry. The potential of the abovementioned is remarkable, as it could introduce great improvements for example in medical research and prevent identity theft, due to the uniqueness of identifiers. At the same time, as our lives become more and more digital, the technology exposes us to greater manipulation, deception, surveillance, control and even gradual loss of autonomy in making decisions, all of which can lead to one thing – hacking a human being.

From seemingly harmless aspects like creating our digital personas, to more abusive ones like controlling and influencing our decisions or even using deepfakes to make people believe things that are not true – the plethora of risks associated with increased digital presence of human beings as well as enhancing brain power and physical capabilities of our bodies for example through microchips should be addressed through a public debate, which is the main goal of this session. Participants will discuss the practical deployment of the abovementioned technologies and the existing regulations pertaining to it. They will also try to answer an existential question on how to ensure that by moving our lives more and more to the digital world and making our bodies more digital or digitally-integrated, we do not lose what constitutes the essence of our humanity – autonomy, freedom of will, and the right to a subjective perception of the world. What are cybersecurity risks related to those processes and how it should be addressed in order to avoid hacking humans per se?


Theresa Payton – White House Chief Information Officer (2006-2008); CEO and Chief Advisor, Fortalice
Sophie in ‘t Veld – Member, European Parliament
Carsten Maple – Professor of Cyber Systems Engineering, WMG, Principal Investigator NCSC-EPSRC Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (North America), University of Warwick; Fellow, Alan Turing Institute
Host: Tanya Basu – Senior reporter, Humans and Technology, MIT Technology Review (TBC)

International security in the era of quantum computing

Technological dominance in the digital value chain is heavily influencing the geoeconomic and geopolitical affairs, and emerging technologies, such as 5G, AI and quantum computing are at the centre of attention. The first quantum revolution led to the invention of important electronic devices, e.g. lasers and transistors, but the second quantum revolution we are witnessing right now might result in much bigger advancements in numerous fields, including medical research, manufacturing and engineering, due to the ultra-efficient information processing of quantum computers. It might also enhance offensive and defensive capabilities of nation-states, improve communication and cryptography capacities, and finally create new military applications. Governments and corporations around the world are ramping up their investments in the field, racing for the quantum supremacy. The United States and China are evident frontrunners, as an effect of cooperation with tech giants like Google, IBM, Alibaba or Quantum CTek. The European Union has unveiled its plans to boost quantum research and create a regional quantum Internet, and middle powers like Australia, Canada, Singapore and Japan are investing in collaborative research. Quantum technology is very powerful, thus can be extremely detrimental when used for adversarial purposes. Because of the rivalry in the field, society is facing the possibility of a technological cold war-like arms race and its ramifications.
The main goal of this session is to discuss the development of quantum technologies and its implications for international security, regarding the distribution of power and knowledge around the world as well as the new offensive and defensive capabilities offered by quantum computing. The panellists will share their views regarding the ways it could potentially redefine political relations and shape the new digital world order.


Deborah Frincke – Associate Laboratory Director for National Security Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Department of Energy; Director of Research, National Security Agency, USA (2014-2020)
Michele Mosca – Co-Founder and President, CEO, evolutionQ Inc.; Co-Founder and Professor, Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo
Jaya Baloo – Vice-Chair, Strategic Advisory Board, Quantum Flagship; CISO, Avast Software
Host: Amit Katwala – Senior Editor, WIRED UK

Human-Level Artificial Intelligence: Probability, Risks, Opportunities

70 years ago, Alan Turing initiated the quest to develop a computer smarter than a human brain by introducing a test examining the ability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behaviour. Arguably, some chatbots have already passed this test, but we cannot say that sentient machines are fully developed, at least not yet. It seems to be a matter of time before we reach the monumental stage of the human–machine convergence by developing a perfect combination of human and machine, or a machine even more capable than a human being. Superintelligence could drastically change the future of humanity by immense advancements in the science and technology sectors, but it comes at a price: we would have the potential to cure diseases, fight climate change, eliminate poverty, and achieve higher levels of productivity, but run the risk of increased surveillance, possible unparalleled inequality and bias, and control of society. Technological singularity is a futuristic concept that might turn into reality once technology exceeds the computing power of a human brain and will be able to comprehend and master any cerebral task that humans can do. It was first presented to the world by Stanislaw Ulam, brilliant Polish mathematician who reported on his discussion on that matter with John von Neumann, and we feel obliged to warn the world against this existential challenge.

The aim of this session is to bring together enthusiasts and sceptics of technological singularity and confront their views on the subject. The goal is to analyse the plausibility of the concept and address the potential challenges and threats associated with it, in particular regarding artificial intelligence, its development and the regulation critical to ensuring society’s safety.


Stuart J. Russell – Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley
Allan Dafoe – Director, Centre for the Governance of AI, Future of Humanity Institute; Associate Professor, International Politics of AI, University of Oxford
Eva Kaili – Member, European Parliament; Chair, Panel for the Future of Science and Technology, European Parliament
Host: Aleksandra Przegalińska-Skierkowska – Associate Professor, Kozminski University; Associate Researcher, American Institute for Economic Research; MIT Research Fellow (2016-2020)

Splinternet – possible scenario or tech-dystopia?

No invention has better embodied the idea that technology can move our world towards becoming a global interconnected village than the Internet. Yet, the facts are here and during its 31 years of existence the Web has become an important tool of geopolitical power competition and a source of rivalry. The era of the global open Internet as we know it has been predicted to end within the next decade (Knake 2020), when China will be establishing its separate DNS root system and eventually its own Internet governance model. What happens then? Are we moving towards the point of no return or is it simply a misconception (Mueller 2020)?

In this exclusive Oxford-style debate two eminent experts, Robert K. Knake (Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations) and Milton L. Mueller (Founder of the Internet Governance Project) will expose their conflicting views on the matter and guide the audience through a comprehensive assessment of the situation and ultimately the future of the Internet.


Milton Mueller – Founder, Internet Governance Forum; Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Public Policy
Robert Knake – Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Director for Cybersecurity Policy, US National Security Council (2011-2015)
Host: Marjorie Buchser – Executive Director, Digital Society Initiative, Chatham House (TBC)


It is not technology by itself but secure technology which can provide business continuity around the world. The role of the private sector in the new digital world as well as in the process of ensuring the appropriate level of cybersecurity is undeniable. As technology provider, it remains in the frontline of the innovation process and is also increasingly getting involved in political and strategic debate on issues related to the digital domain. Technologies are invented to primarily serve economic development, advance the efficiency of processes, as well as increase the well-being of societies; now their major aim should also be to enhance the world’s resilience. A modern product market structure should be based on the security by design principle, which must be ensured throughout the entire supply chain. The appropriate level of security embedded in the technology will protect individuals against the weaponisation and adversarial use of digital tools. Critical infrastructure, necessary for the business continuity of the processes which are crucial to the economy, remains of particular importance in this dimension and the criticality factor is now expanding into the new digital services as the digital transformation is accelerating during the pandemic. Adversarial actions directed at the critical infrastructure may have apocalyptic consequences. Its protection is an absolute priority for each country, and it should be carried out together with the private sector and taking into account the specific conditions for each branch of economy. Additionally, it is the private sector which should step up during the crisis and by getting together help to protect digital assets. Good examples of that can be cyber-coalitions of private companies, forged during the pandemic. Last but not least, the responsible behaviour in the digitisation process also implies digital sustainability and minimising the negative impacts of technology on the environment and on future generations.

Keynote BUSINESS presentation:

Samir Saran – President, Observer Research Foundation (ORF), India


Big data = big challenges? Countering adversity in the data-driven economy

Due to the monetisation of information and the profit it brings, data became the most valuable resource in the digital economy. Its exponential growth is driving the interest in using big data and related technologies such as cloud computing to facilitate the collection and management of this seemingly limitless amount of information. With that, it is also becoming more exposed to various cyberthreats and used for adversarial means. Big data allows companies to direct their marketing strategies at specific groups, effectively elevating their market positions. Social media platforms are often involved in these processes, serving as databases of potential target groups. In addition to market-oriented activities, platforms very often serve as amplifiers to spread the political messages, including disinformation. The exploitation of big data causes concerns about privacy, compliance, liability, as well as information security and confidentiality, and because of its high value it is worthwhile for other parties to chase after it (even by illegal means like data theft and economic espionage). It has already become clear that the tensions and trade-offs related to the rapid growth of the data are huge. At the same time, there is no broader legal or practical consensus on ensuring non personal data protection, thus national governments are taking the matters in their own hands by coming up with national regulations (e.g. United Kingdom’s Data Ethics Framework). In order to achieve synergy, regional laws can be of great help, which is why data sovereignty and security are on top of the EU agenda, as shown in the Data Strategy that includes the creation of common European data spaces. Everyone wants to benefit from the digital data revolution and ensure the best position in the new digital world order, thus the international community is focusing on implementing regulation for the collection and management of big data, with separate approaches towards personal and industrial data.


Roberto Viola – Director General, DG CONNECT, European Commission (TBC)
The Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE – Minister of State for Media and Data, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, United Kingdom (TBC)
Kajsa Ollongren – Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (TBC)
Andrew Penn – CEO, Telstra (TBC)
Host: Paul Timmers – Research Associate, Oxford University; Director, Sustainable & Secure Society Directorate, DG CONNECT, European Commission (2012-2016)

The role of technology providers, the civil society and international institutions in ensuring the peaceful Internet

Designed as a way to bring people together and to expand the accessibility of knowledge, the Internet has changed the world for good and provides a platform for spreading innovation, fostering economic growth and empowering citizens. The other side of the coin – worsened by the lack of global consensus on an international framework for behaviour in cyberspace – is that it simultaneously expanded the playground of criminals and hostile actors, giving them more ways to negatively impact the society and take advantage of grey zones in the international law. In recent years, bottom-up multi-stakeholder initiatives aimed at ensuring a peaceful use of the Internet, and more broadly at defending cyberspace against adversarial threats, have flourished and gathered states, businesses and civil society actors. The COVID-19 crisis has recently highlighted in a unique way the role industry – especially the digital one – and civil society play in supporting states in the face of adversity. Addressing the issue in an active and collaborative manner is the only way forward.

The goal of this discussion will be to shed light on initiatives such as the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace and the Cybersecurity Tech Accord and their contribution to the global security of cyberspace. Representatives of all sectors – government, business and civil society – will present instances of successful cooperation and propose ways to go further. Our aim is also to support the call made at CYBERSEC Brussels 2020 by MEP Marina Kaljurand, who set the ambitious goal for the 75th UN anniversary by saying that UN should look on the Paris Call more seriously, take it as a basis for cooperation, encourage more countries to join and affirm at least in the form of a political statement that international laws apply to cyberspace.


Renata Dwan – Director, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research
Eileen Donahoe – Executive Director, Global Digital Policy Incubator, Cyber Policy Center, Stanford University
Michael Chertoff – Co-Chair, Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace; US Secretary of Homeland Security (2005-2009)
Tobias Feakin – Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology, Australia
Līga Rozentāle – Director of EU Governmental Affairs for Cybersecurity Policy and Security of Emerging Technologies, Microsoft
Marc Vancoppenolle – Global Head of Government Relations, Nokia
Host: Przemysław Roguski – Lecturer, Chair of Public International Law, Jagiellonian University

Expanding reliance on digital tools – best practices from digital leaders in the times of COVID-19

The year 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges and put governments under extreme pressure to propose fast and efficient responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Digital tools have been at the forefront of the solutions aimed at protecting citizens and helping to track the spread of the virus. National authorities quickly engaged in developing an arsenal of tools and practices – from contact tracing and warning apps to closer cooperation with platforms in fighting against disinformation. But the emergency context also sparked some privacy concerns. In addition, poor cybersecurity posture of public institutions – notably healthcare – and weak points in medical devices highlighted the pressing need for stronger security measures in various sectors. The COVID-19 crisis also helps re-evaluate the criticality of digital services for national security and continuity of economy and those aspects need to fall under cybersecurity scrutiny.

The aim of this discussion will be to explore the responses proposed by digital leaders around the world, to exchange best practices in digital tools development, regulations and implementation, and to present successful measures aimed at strengthening cybersecurity in the public domain. The results of the discussion will feed the broader reflection on a common mechanism to crisis response based on the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Flavio Aggio – Chief Information Security Officer, WHO
Ciaran Martin – Professor of Practice in Public Management, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University; CEO, National Cyber Security Centre of the UK (2016-2020)
Pilar del Castillo – Member of the European Parliament; Chair, European Internet Forum (TBC)
Host: Rafal Rohozinski – CEO, SecDev Group

How COVID-19 redefined the critical sectors of economies

The pandemic has changed our lives in an unprecedented way, forcing nearly all industries to adjust to the new reality. Companies from across all sectors have struggled to adjust their core services to match customers’ needs and safety measures imposed by governments and international authorities. This has been particularly challenging for critical sectors, such as healthcare, energy, communications and IT, which now are probably more indispensable than ever to keep the society up and running. As the digital transformation across all sectors of economies is accelerating due to the pandemic forcing people to move their businesses and lives online, the definition of critical sectors might evolve, possibly including other parts of our systems, that are becoming more essential than before. These might include: cloud services, online learning, or mobile networks. Due to increased reliance on digital tools to minimize the risk of spreading the virus, our economies are more exposed to various cyberthreats. New vulnerabilities were unveiled and threat actors were quick to exploit them through sophisticated phishing campaigns, network data breaches, ransomware and DDoS attacks. Each part of our lives is being adapted to the new reality, and the world of cybercrime is not an exception.

The goal of this discussion is to analyse the plethora of challenges faced by the critical industries while undergoing technological transformation enforced by the pandemic, share best practices in regards to securing the assets and adjusting to the new reality, as well as to discuss the need to foster public-private cooperation, especially in the emergency situations.


Melissa Hathaway – President, Hathaway Global Strategies, LLC; Cybersecurity Advisor, George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations (2007-2009); Expert of the Kosciuszko Institute
Marco-Alexander Breit – Head, Artificial Intelligence Task Force, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Neal Pollard – Chief Information Security Officer of UBS AG (TBC)
Juhan Lepassaar – Executive Director, ENISA (TBC)
Host: James Rundle – Reporter, WSJ Pro, the Wall Street Journal (TBC)


The focal point of the debates in this thematic stream will be the technological development of the military sector and doctrine and its implications for international security, as well as maintaining peace and stable relations between countries. Digital and smart technologies are being used to carry out military operations, and this trend is only going to continue. Warfare landscape will increasingly consist of cyberweapons and remote-controlled tools. Also, many technologies can have a dual-use, meaning that apart from their civilian applications, they might also have a military dimension. At the same time some digital civilian assets should also be considered critical military assets or targets and treated as such. Their adversarial use against citizens and nations cannot be allowed. Widely accepted and binding rules regarding the use of AI tools in the military applications as well as lethal autonomous weapons (LAWs) are thus needed. The debate and an impetus for creating such rules could come from like-minded countries as shared values are conducive to reaching a consensus on such difficult and complex challenges. Cooperation between the EU and NATO is equally crucial, and the coordination of tools and initiatives is key to ensuring the effectiveness of this area. Also, in the months to come, the development of the new generation infrastructure – 5G – will be of great importance for the military sector and should fall under the civil preparedness of infrastructure consideration. NATO and national security services must prepare to face the sector’s unique challenges.

Keynote DEFENCE presentation:

Linda Reynolds – Minister for Defence of Australia (TBC)


Military use of 5G technology

The critical importance and geopolitical significance of the 5G deployment paved the way for complex and genuine discussions on its security and impact on the economy and society. Once deployed on a large scale, 5G will indeed become the backbone of digital markets and societies and will be essential to the functioning of various key sectors. Often overlooked, the military sector should also hold a prominent place in the discussions on strategic considerations related to 5G. The most impactful applications of 5G will probably not be intended for civil use, but rather find their place in the military sphere. Its improved features will be essential in the deployment and use of hypersonic weapons and, by giving killer drones and war robots the capacity to better identify and follow their target based on facial recognition among other characteristics, it will also improve their efficiency. Additionally,
5G will provide increased support to secret services and special forces operations, as it can give rise to control and espionage systems far more efficient than those currently used.
The aim of the discussion will be to consider the tactical and operational implications, as well as the opportunities brought by 5G implementation in the military sector and for special services as an integrated element of defence (smart cities, autonomy, mass data analysis, etc.). Experts on the panel will address challenges gaining in importance and assess the level of preparedness shown by NATO and other security entities.


Riho Terras – Member, European Parliament; Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces (2011-2018)
Gen. André Lanata – Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, NATO (TBC)
Joseph Evans – Technical Director for 5G, United States Department of Defense (TBC)
Erica D. Borghard – Assistant Professor, Army Cyber Institute at West Point (TBC)
David van Weel – Foreign Affairs and Defence Advisor, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Office; appointed Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO (TBC)
Host: Teri Schultz – Freelance Reporter, Deutsche Welle, NPR

Information warfare – exploitation of history, religion and economics in cyberspace

The creation of a new space of interaction – cyberspace – dramatically impacted our everyday reality. By blurring some of the remaining boundaries of the physical world, the Internet along with its tools, expanded the scope of possibilities for human activity. Nowadays, everything is only a click away: information, purchase, health, work, politics, but also crime and war. The intermingling of both physical and cyber realms also means that any action happening in cyberspace can have grave repercussions in physical space. A particularly worrying phenomenon is the weaponisation of social media where bots and fake news are used to manipulate public opinion on sensitive topics, thus having the potential to affect the course of political but also military events.

This discussion will point out how and why the social media sphere became a global battlefield and will primarily aim to address the lack of solutions to tackle this new dimension of modern warfare. A particular focus will be put on concrete examples of Russian weaponisation of social media in recent years, with panellists highlighting how the blame was assigned and how the perpetrators escaped the consequences.


Jaroslav Naď – Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic
Mariusz Błaszczak – Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Poland (TBC)
Lubomír Metnar – Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic (TBC)
Tibor Benkő – Minister of Defence of the Republic of Hungary (TBC)
Host: NATO CI COE representative

Forward defence postures in developing cybersecurity capabilities

From malware attack on national infrastructure to meddling in domestic affairs and democratic processes, the ever expanding landscape of cyber-related threats require European and transatlantic allies to seek new means and measures to defend themselves. A new strategic posture was needed in cyberspace. In this light, the “forward defence” doctrine, enshrined in the 2018 US DoD’s Cyber Strategy, provides new ways of preventing malicious cyberactivity and confronting threats before they reach their target. Lowering the limitations on offensive parameters and enlarging the geographic latitude of action, this doctrine can, however, possibly result in significant escalation risks. In times of extremely tense and complex diplomatic relations between cybercapable nation-states, it is vital to engage in new and thorough reflections on bolstering cyber defence.

The purpose of the session will be to exchange views on the doctrine of forward defence in cyberspace and to discuss the procedures and boundaries for offensive cyberoperations. Participants will explore the potentialities of European countries’ and NATO’s adaptation of a new security focus towards forward defence, reflect on the creation of the CyOC and on integrating member states’ sovereign and voluntary cyber-efforts into the strategic calculations of the Alliance.


Anna Fotyga – Member, European Parliament; Member, NATO Reflection Group
Rob Joyce – Special US Liaison Officer, London
MG (Ret.) Brett Williams – Director of Operations, United States Cyber Command (2012-2014); Co-Founder, COO, IronNet Cybersecurity
BG Karol Molenda – Director, National Cyber Security Centre of Poland
MG Wolfgang Renner – Commander, NATO Communications and Information Systems (CIS) Group; Deputy chief of staff cyberspace, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) (TBC)
Host: Amir Rapaport – Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Cybertech and Israel Defense (TBC)

Cybersecurity of outer space – exploring the unexplored

The transatlantic defence infrastructure is nowadays highly dependent on the smooth functioning of both the digital and space environments. The intertwining of these two domains is however not without risks. Indeed, while most modern military engagements rely on space-based assets like satellites, this dependence can in turn enable highly disruptive and asymmetric attacks on the Alliance infrastructure via cyber means. Ensuring the safety and cybersecurity of defence technologies deployed in space is therefore critical. Moreover, the rapid development and innovation in the field of space technology – satellite miniaturisation for instance – and its commercial applications brings new issues such as increased traffic, congestion or space debris, that could hinder space-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations. The continued and ongoing efforts towards space exploration will only enlarge a connected and interdependent cyberecosystem. This panel discussion will aim to give a comprehensive overview of the current cybersecurity challenges faced in outer space and identify vulnerabilities of space-based defence assets. Experts will exchange best practices, explore mitigation measures and policy recommendations to reinforce NATO’s and allied countries’ resilience.


Carine Claeys – EU Special Envoy for Space; Head of the Space Task Force, EEAS
Mike Witt – Associate CIO for Cybersecurity and Privacy, Chief Information Security Officer, NASA
Kevin J. Scheid – General Manager, NCIA (TBC)
Host: Sorin Ducaru – Director, European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen); Former Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO

Fireside Chat: At the forefront of innovation – NATO’s approach towards science & technology

In today’s ever-changing world, it is crucial for NATO to be able to swiftly adapt to technological and scientific advances in order to face geostrategic challenges coming from all operational domains. The recently released Science & Technology Trends 2020-2040 report provides an assessment of the potential changes caused by the rapid progress of technology in the defence environment, especially regarding military operations, defence capabilities and the political decision space. Future military capabilities will largely be defined by inter-dependencies between emerging and disruptive technologies raising legal, policy and organisational challenges
for the Alliance. During this discussion, the participants will highlight and discuss the necessary steps they envision in order to prepare our Alliance to evolve and to adapt to the security environment of the future decades.


Dr Bryan Wells – Chief Scientist, NATO
Host: Dr Antonio Missiroli – Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges

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Price: Free


Price: Free


From: September 28, 2020
To: September 29, 2020




The CYBERSEC Forum is one of the biggest cybersecurity events in Europe and one of its kind in Poland. Every year since 2015 the conference has been hosting like-minded individuals to discuss and contextualise the threats, challenges and opportunities following the development of new technologies, the expansion of cyberspace and the digitalization of our everyday lives.


Business, defence, FUTURE, STATE

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