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Civil and Military Cyber Skills – Are They So Different After All?

This workshop looks at the cyber skills and expertise from both civil and military perspectives to discuss the different use cases for building cyber capabilities. The objective is to understand how different or similar the usage for cyber skills across different sectors is, and to compare the needs for capacities between civil and military domains. The basis for the discussion will be the EU CyberNet’s catalogue of pre-mapped skillsets as a unique resource.

EU CyberNet has several use cases to illustrate the implementation of its skillset catalogue; the speakers will introduce it through different examples and value proposals for the experts and stakeholders.

Target audience: People across academia, public and private sectors with interest in cyber skills and capacities building, as well as people who require different expertise/experts for their daily activities.  

Microsoft Quarterly Cyber Threat Intelligence Briefing (NATO/EU government officials only)

This briefing is designed for policy-makers and diplomats who are interested in the latest major observations of nation state activity coming from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The briefing will also review recent trends and strategic observations around those actors.

Open to NATO/EU government officials only. The organisers reserve the right to review any submitted registrations.

NATO and EU – Strategic Outlook

The panel will examine the cyber dimension (or the lack thereof?) of the upcoming NATO and EU strategic documents, and the implications and opportunities for NATO-EU cooperation on cyber issues that the NATO Strategic Concept and the Strategic Compass for the EU will bring. Representatives of EU and NATO will share their experiences and perspectives on the possible long-term strategic outcomes of the documents, complemented by the member state insight.  

Securing Supply Chains and Next Generation Networks 

Supply chain security and resilience has gained attention of national security decision-makers. The recent significant compromises and vulnerabilities of software supply chain demonstrate the fragility, complexity and opaqueness of digital supply chains, and challenges in securing them. Similarly, the emerging ecosystem of business verticals enabled by next generation networks brings new cybersecurity and supply chain concerns for national security and technology communities.

NATO is no less vulnerable. A conversation on strategic approaches to 5G and supply chain security, critical information infrastructure and the opportunities and challenges of international cooperation.

The Promise and Perils of Emerging Technologies

The implications of emerging technologies are a highly publicised yet often poorly understood field. The adoption of artificial intelligence capabilities alongside greater autonomy is poised to have profound strategic effects on the way warfare is conducted and will have implications that reach far beyond an immediate technical effect. This session explores the cognitive aspects of emerging and disruptive technologies, exploring themes such as public perceptions of offensive cyber operations, the way humans relate to artificial intelligence-enabled decision-support systems in conflict, and the associated potential risks of lethal autonomous weapons systems. Examining the implications of these technologies allows for discussion and policy recommendations to effectively innovative techniques into military contexts in ways that aim to mitigate operational and strategic challenges. 

Countering Nation State Threats – Mobilizing the Legal Arsenal

The following division of tasks and responsibilities in the field of security is generally accepted: internal security is civilian authorities’ responsibility, while external security is a responsibility of the Armed Forces. Nowadays, however, the interdependence between internal and external security is constantly growing, particularly in the cyber domain.  

In the light of the above, the panel will present the following best practices:  

  • criminal prosecution of foreign military/intelligence officials accused of cyber-crimes; 
  • criminal investigation on on-line recruitment of people fighting alongside militia or terrorist group; 
  • administrative measures banning on information networks carrying war propaganda. 

AI – State of the Myth

This panel will delve into the forefront of applications of AI in intrusion detection systems, as well as explore the current limitations of known methods in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

Are Offensive Operations the Best Defence?

Threats to national security and the well-being of a state’s citizens are rife in the cyber domain. These threats can take the of non-conventional means such as ransomware operations in which the intent is financial gain, or operations designed to intentionally limit functionality of crucial systems. These threats manifest in operations carried out by States or State affiliated actors, or indeed criminal actors that may be protected by the State. Penalizing States for their own actions or for breaking with the fundamental concept of state, however, is fraught with challenges and complications, and risk of collateral damage and escalation of tensions. 

How can states deter malicious cyber activities, and what role can offensive cyber operations or the threat of such operations play in that? This Panel will examine these challenges and potential means of mitigating them, and perhaps even suggest novel approaches. Is the established concept of deterrence due for an overhaul? How should NATO address interoperability of cyber operations? Can they be mitigated through policy or the use of force? 

Book Launch: The Rights to Privacy and Data Protection in Times of Armed Conflict*

Recent armed conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Ukraine have demonstrated the profound risks posed to the rights to privacy and data protection in contemporary warfare. Technological advances in the fields of electronic surveillance, predictive algorithms, big data analytics, user-generated evidence, artificial intelligence, cloud storage, facial recognition, and cryptography are redefining the scope, nature, and contours of military operations. Against this backdrop, international humanitarian law offers very few, if any, lex specialis rules for the lawful processing, analysis, dissemination, and retention of personal information.

CCDCOE is proud to publish “The Rights to Privacy and Data Protection in Times of Armed Conflict,” a 15-chapter anthology produced by leading academics and practitioners and co-edited by Russell Buchan (University of Sheffield) and Asaf Lubin (Indiana University) with support from the Ostrom Workshop. The book offers a first-of-its-kind account of the current and potential future application of digital rights in conflict situations. This book launch will feature a panel discussion by the book’s editors with senior commentators about topics and themes covered in the new book.