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Cyber Defence Event Series demands Call for Action from Global Security Industry

Europe’s leading cyber warfare conference has revealed an urgent demand for investment and integration between national defence agencies and private computer security developers if major crisis is to be avoided.

The fifth Annual Cyber Warfare Event, which took place this January at London’s American Square Conference, brought together its biggest assembly of military and industry specialists from over twenty different nations, and included presentations from the UK GCHQ, German Ministry of Defence, and United States Air Force.

According to a survey undertaken at the event by conference organiser Defence IQ, 89 per cent of responders with an opinion on the matter stated that they did not believe the public and private sector work closely enough together to properly mitigate the risk of a cyber attack on a nation’s critical infrastructure.

72 per cent of responders believed that more spending by government and military was also required in the field to better protect against an attack, despite worldwide budget cuts forcing most militaries to scale back on procurement and investment in traditional warfare.

Other findings included an uncertainty about the future of “cyber-weaponry” and a perceived deficit in the efforts made between joint powers to share and discuss national programmes or initiatives.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Daniel Kuehl of the Information Resources Management College (IRMC) at the US National Defence University insisted that the forum sets a precedent for discussion on the topic.

“This conference in particular brings together a tremendous diversity of attendees and speakers from within the militaries, of the governments and of private sectors as well. That’s one of the reasons why I think this conference in particular has been so successful and has had the impact it’s having.”

Defence IQ’s Cyber Defence series will continue throughout the year, hosting the Critical Infrastructure Protection summit in London from March 29. The event will focus on the need and requirements for contingency planning to protect the most vulnerable of national infrastructure, from transport networks to power plants.

This will be followed by the annual Cyber Security conference at Le Plaza in Brussels, Belgium from May 30, to provide a technical spotlight on government-industry network protection.

From Dr. Kuehl’s perspective: “One of the key problems is ‘who are the owners and the operators of these critical infrastructures?’ And ‘how do you get the various pieces of the private sector to view this through a broader lens then their own business-specific soda straw?’ We’ve made a lot of progress in this area, but there’s a lot more that needs to be done.”

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