High-level internet governance exchange on security and safety, stability and resilience

25 Nov 2019 11:00h - 12:40h

Event report

[Read more session reports and updates from the 14th Internet Governance Forum]

In Germany alone, there are 50 to 100 million attacks on local organisations every day. This results in annual losses of over €1 billion, Mr Wolfgang Kopf (Senior Vice President for Group Public and Regulatory Affairs, Deutsche Telekom) explained during the discussion which focused on the security and stability of cyberspace. This requires concerted action, especially with new kinds of technology emerging on the market.

Cyber-attacks can lead users to lose trust in the digital ecosystem, and over the security of their devices. Mr Michael Bolle (CDO and CTO, Robert Bosch GmbH) referred to the need to have quality parameters to monitor the compliance of safety rules. In addition to building trust in the digital ecosystem, citing the example of the Digital Trust Forum, he also mentioned the need for policymakers to collaborate as partners, and for concrete proposals from the industry perspective to develop trust. Mr Camille Grenier (Reporters Without Borders) referred to the lack of trust in the media, and talked about incorporating human rights standards into the digital world.

Also referring to the issue of trust, Mr Rob Strayer (Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy, USA) said that trust is particularly critical in addressing the vulnerabilities of 5G technology.

Several speakers referred to cybersecurity standards. There are several global initiatives on developing standards and diligence processes, Ms Mina Hanna (IEEE) explained. Mr Houlin Zhao (Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)) referred to the need for more global standards, and said he expected the USA to play a leading role in 5G technology and the setting of global standards for security. Ms Maximilian Tayenthal (Co-Founder and CFO, N26) referred to standards required for businesses to keep their operations secure from attacks.

Humans are the weakest link in the security chain. This issue requires stronger public awareness campaigns, Ms Polina Malaja (CENTR) emphasised. Mr Luis Adrián Salazar (Minister for ICT and Science, Costa Rica) said we need to keep people at the centre of technological developments. Mr Elijus Civilis (Vice-Minister of the Economy and Innovation, Lithuania) referred to building ‘digital intelligence’ among users to help people better understand the digital space, while Mr Michael Waidner (Director, Fraunhofer Institut SIT) referred to the need for improving the capacity for undertaking research.

What about the data held by companies? Mr Eran Brown (CTO, Infinidat) encouraged companies to protect their data with more encryption and to build education programmes for end users.

Yet, cybersecurity also requires efficient norms, a point emphasised by Mr Shen Yi (Fudan University, China), despite the limitations of multilateral processes and the growing complexity of issues related to the use of autonomous systems, highlighted by Ms Mark Klein (ERGO). Strayer said that regulatory policies need to be flexible, referring to a ‘light touch’ approach, while Mr Thomas Rosteck (Infineon) believes that what we need is for one standard of security across the globe, Klein opined that the benefits of adapting security standards are based on situations over a single standard.

By Amrita Choudhury