Software Company participates in the Economic Forum in Karpacz, establishes cooperation in cyber security with Polish partners

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8 September 2022

The 31st edition of the Economic Forum under the slogan “Europe in the face of new challenges”, took place from 6th to8th of September 2022, at the Gołębiewski Hotel, in Karpacz, Poland. Participants from the world of politics, business, culture and science took advantage of the wide offer of the substantive program and accompanying cultural events. Discussions were focused on key processes and events in Central and Eastern Europe. Karpacz welcomed a record number of more than five thousand participants from sixty countries. For three days, they took part in over 400 debates, presentations and talks. Software Company was one of the Bulgarian participants.

The Forum was attended by: Prime Minister Petr Fiala of the Czech Republic, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, President of the Seimas Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Minister of Agriculture of Ukraine Mykola Solskyi, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov, Minister of Science and Technology Development of Montenegro Bilijana Scepanovic, Vice-President of the Latvian Parliament Beitnere-Le Galla, former Prime Minister of Slovenia Janez Jansa, former Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, former prime minister and current president of the Law and Justice party Jarosław Kaczyński, Mayor of Lviv Andrij Sadowy, and the EC Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski. High-ranking business leaders and renowned educators were also in attendance, such as the  Vice President of the Austrian National Bank Barbara Kolm, the Vice President of TikToka Theo Bertram, the Chief Economist of NASA Alexander Macdonald, the Rector of New York University Andrew Hamilton, the GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Vice President Jon Ball and many others.

The six plenary sessions of the Forum were dominated by the challenges facing Europe, and, to an extent, informed by the special Report of the Warsaw School of Economics. The latter described the current trends and tendencies and sought to answer the question of what should be done to make the economy grow despite the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the rising inflation, the lack or limited access to raw materials and deteriorating public mood.

Under the prevailing conditions Europe faces a major challenge in diversifying its energy sources, especially considering the necessary independence from Russian gas and oil supplies. A new vision of energy security in Europe is necessary to increase the economic resilience of the European Union.

One of the major thematic lines of the Forum that was of immediate interest to Software Company was dedicated to international cooperation in cybersecurity. At the Cybersecurity pavilion panelists and participants discussed a variety of related topics. Some of the conclusions concerned the financing of cybersecurity that remains a key challenge for both the public and private sectors. The principal challenge is the fact that the implementation of appropriate measures and building competences requires significant expenditure, the legitimacy of which is still often questioned. In this context the Polish Cybersecurity Fund was presented as an excellent example of an innovative and effective mechanism.

The Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure (CVD) was a topic that attracted special attention. Although security organizations have been dealing with the issue for a long time, the development of standards and procedures in this area remains an unfinished job. It is addressed in the draft of the Network and Information Security (NIS 2) Directive of the European Commission, which promotes the implementation of CVD regulations at the level of all EU member states. The NIS2 expands the catalog of entities falling under its scope. As a rule, any entity of the type and sector listed in the Annex to the Directive will automatically be subject to the obligations under NIS2. A risk-based approach is maintained with the addition of new elements necessary for cybersecurity, such as the supply chain security analysis and the use of cryptography. NIS2 envisages penalties modeled on the GDPR.

The EU Agency ENISA is called upon to help harmonize national approaches towards greater levels of cyber security. For example, ENISA is expected to present in the near future recommendations for the European Cyber Security Certification System for Cloud Services (EUCS). This European certification program designed under the Cybersecurity Act will be a step ahead towards the certification of cloud services in the EU, thus strengthening the sovereignty of the European market.

The same high expectations are valid for the European Cybersecurity Competence Center, based in Bucharest, that became the newest European structure to support the development of industry, technology and research in the field of cybersecurity. The Center, supported by the Network of National Coordination Centers of each Member State and the Cyber Community, aims to increase cybersecurity capabilities, capabilities, knowledge and infrastructure, promote cyber resilience and contribute to a strong European cybersecurity ecosystem, connecting all relevant stakeholders. The Center also manages funds from the Digital Europe Program allocated to cybersecurity.

Participants in the Cybersecurity forum noted that cyberattacks on critical infrastructure have grown increasingly sophisticated. For instance, recent attacks were responsible for shutting down Ukraine’s power grid. To date, damages have been limited to financial loss, inconvenience, and negative publicity, but cyberattacks on critical infrastructure have the potential to pose serious problems, from service disruption to physical threat to human lives.  Hence the necessity to support through externally funded projects Ukraine and others in need step up their capacity to thwart cyberattacks.

In the same thematic block, experts surveyed the functioning of the European Union’s system of coordinated response to cyber-attacks and threats targeting EU institutions, EU Member States and the EU’s external partners. During the discussion, experts shared the lessons learnt from implementing the Cyber Diplomacy Toolbox (CDT), a set of diplomatic measures for a coordinated EU response to cyber threats.

In her remarks Anne Neuberber, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology, debriefed on the priorities of the US Administration, citing, inter alia, the preparedness of the United States to help Ukraine and other partners in the build-up of capacity for cyber threats resilience. The statement confirmed that international projects in that field acquire urgency and importance.

The Economic Forum is the most significant initiative of the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies (FIES). Organized since 1992, the Forum has proven itself as one of the largest and the most important conferences in Central and Eastern Europe. By establishing dialogue with the FIES organizers, Software Company created possibilities for future cooperation of the Institute with Bulgarian entities and companies.