NRI session on cybersecurity

12 Nov 2018 10:15h - 11:15h

Event report

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Cybersecurity in all of its facets has consistently topped the agendas of the National and Regional IGF’s in Europe for the past two years. The impact of a major cybersecurity attacks goes well beyond the financial losses in most of the cases. The main objective of the session was to discuss the contribution of various national and regional associations in the cybersecurity paradigm along with the corresponding challenges.

The workshop was moderated by Ms Tatiana Tropina, EuroDIG Cybersecurity Subject Matter Expert, who posed the following questions to speakers:

  • What are the critical assets to be secured at the national level, and what are the methodologies to prevent them? 
  • What are the local challenges?
  • How to build trust among all stakeholders?
  • How can/do the National Internet Governance Initiatives facilitate and support collaborative, multistakeholder solutions to address these local challenges?

Mr Adrian Custer, Representative from the Switzerland CERT, mentioned that his country ‘try to improve cybersecurity from the basic cyber hygiene point of view’. He further explained that more secure national and global networks are the ones that pose fewer threats to the critical infrastructure. He mentioned that fostering co-operation and collaboration amongst the various Internet stakeholder is one of the key performance indicators for his organisation, within the nation. 

The representative from the South Korea IGF highlighted the threats his country faces from attacks originating from North Korea. He raised the issue of limited collaboration between the Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) and Government (Regulators) within his country and worldwide. This challenge, he mentioned, was due to excessive power exercised by the government agencies over the ISPs, in acting against the cyber-attacks. The phenomenon is further compounded due to the several agencies within the government working on common objectives. Reflecting on the paradox that civil society faces on the internet, he said, ’Civil Society understands what kind of problem or damage they have from cybersecurity, but the problem is that they really are trying hard to have some privacy and the Internet freedom’.

Mr Michael Rotert, Chair of Eco- German Internet exchange point and representative for German IGF, responding to the moderator’s question on the responsibility of ISPs in curtailing the fake news on the Internet mentioned that ’Fake news existed from centuries already not on the Internet, but elsewhere’. He emphasised the need for partnership between the Internet enabled small businesses (SMB) and Internet Service Providers (ISP) to tackle the overgrowing problem of cybersecurity. Taking the example of a successful ’Bot three‘ project, he explained how a public private partnership within Germany had helped save the consumers from the ill-effects of malicious viruses distributed using CDs. 

Ms Nato Goderdzishvili,Ministry of Justice of Georgia, senior consultant in e-government and cyber security (Georgia IGF), underlined the determination of the Georgian government in addressing cybersecurity threats. She mentioned that Georgia is among the top ten cybersecurity spending country based on ITU’s Cybersecurity Community Index. She attributed the increased spending and focus to the massive cybersecurity breach that affected the Georgian critical infrastructure back in 2008. Initiatives such as the National Cybersecurity Strategy, revised legal frameworks, and consultative approach and multistakeholder involvement were undertaken to bring the cybersecurity posture to the current shape.


By Mohit Saraswat