WSIS Forum 2013 – Securing Cyberspace in a borderless world

By Pierluigi Paganini, Editor-in-Chief, CDM

May 20, 2013, 11:30 am EST

Securing Cyberspace in a borderless world: Vision 2015 and Beyond” is the title of a High Level Dialogue that was held during The World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) 2013.

The World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ICT for development  community, the event is organized by ITU (INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION) and during the last edition it was held a high level session dedicated to the topic “Securing Cyberspace in a borderless world: Vision 2015 and Beyond”.

I find the topic very interesting for all cyber security professionals; the dialogue was moderated by Mr Kim Andreasson, Managing Director of DAKA advisory AB and editor, Cybersecurity: Public Sector Threats and Response.

The WSIS Forum 2013 was held from the 13-17 May 2013 at the ITU Headquarters in Geneva. This year the Forum attracted more than 1800 WSIS Stakeholders from more than 140 countries. Several high-level representatives of the wider WSIS Stakeholder community graced the Forum with more than 60 ministers and deputies, several ambassadors, CEOs and Civil Society leaders contributing passionately towards the programme of the Forum.

Several key panelists from different expert fields have taken part in the meeting:

  • Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU
  • H.E. Mr Diego Molano Vega, Minister, Ministry of ICT, Colombia
  • H.E. Amb. Dr. Theodor H. Winkler, Director, DCAF, Switzerland
  • Ms Ingrid Deltenre, Director General, EBU, Switzerland
  • Mr Chris Painter, Cybersecurity Coordinator, Department of States, USA (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/161848.htm)
  • Mr Stuart Carlaw, Chief Research Officer,  ABI Research, United States
  • Mr Ilya Sachkov, CEO, Group IB, Russian Federation (http://group-ib.com)
  • Mr John Carr, Secretary, Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety, United Kingdom

I suggest reading the paper prepared by Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General ITU which covers different problems, trends and views on the cybersecurity situation in the world, as well as key principles of ITU for making trust and peace in the modern world.

Dr.Hamadoun I. Toure also mentioned that according to the most recent statistics annual losses of over 100 billion dollars are being caused by cybercrime, and that some 550 million people are being targeted by cyberattacks every year. In financial terms, this is the equivalent of the entire GDP of a country like Morocco, Slovakia or Bangladesh. In population terms, it is the equivalent of more than all the inhabitants of Europe. Every second, 18 adults become a victim of cybercrime, resulting in more than 1.5 million cybercrime victims each day on a global level.

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I decided to interview the Group-IB CEO, who was one of the representatives from the private sector during the meeting. Group-IB is one of the leading companies in fraud prevention, cybercrime and high-tech crime investigations and that often support me in my analysis on security issues.

Ilya

1) Ilya, what were the most interesting topics of discussion during the high-level dialogue organized during WSIS 2013? 

The panelists shared their opinions on modern cybersecurity problems, starting from reducing the risks of harmful use of ICT to the child protection in WEB. I can say that such dialogue on high level can help the governments, private sector of different countries and society to get an actual view on the situation in the field.

2) What key problems in modern cybersecurity can you figure out? 

One of the most important questions is that private sector should collaborate with governments more closely, as the most actual and interesting information for reducing the cybersecurity risks is in private sector hands. Some countries have some political barriers of cooperation which makes cooperation absolutely not clear and impossible, as well as the same problems within own country. The role of private and non-commercial expert companies and organizations is increasing each day and one the best way is to link it with government efforts to make the cyber world safer.

Many private companies with cybercrime solutions are cooperating on the back-end by sharing data on cyber threats anonymously via signatures in a so called “Eco Systems”. This allows their big data analysis programs to flag malware and threats before damage is done to networks.

3) What do you think about the role of governments; along with intergovernmental bodies such us UN and the ITU in modern cybersecurity? 

I have already mentioned it a bit in the previous point, but it will be important to say that private-public partnership shows good results. In regard of Russia and former USSR countries, CERT-GIB (Group-IB’s CERT) acts in very close cooperation with international LEA, domain registers, ISPs and hosting provers to reduce cyber security threats .RU, .РФ, .SU and shows efficient results in botnets tracking and cyberthreat intelligence each day, operating 24x7x365.

Law enforcement agencies, such as FBI and Russia’s FSB, are seeing threats to national critical infrastructures like power grids and banking sectors, and are making overtures about “Sharing” data and intelligence with relevant private partners. Even some newly proposed cyber security laws and new agencies are reflecting this change from traditional law enforcement culture.

4) As far as I know Group-IB is a member of IMPACT-ITU, what benefits or advantages you have in this plan? Is this structure efficient for reducing the cybersecurity risks? What is your role there? 

Yes, we are very proud and happy, that Group-IB and its CERT are members of IMPACT-ITU. I can say, that it is one of the most powerful and expert organizations in the world, organized with the support of ITU. We share cyber threat intelligence information within IMPACT-ITU member community, targeted for public and critical infrastructure sectors.

The security in the cyberspace is a global need, the cyber threats are increasing in recent months, as has happened before, and the trend is to a relentless growth, to mitigate the risks it is necessary an approach on a global scale that request the participation of governments and private companies that must share information of principal cyber menaces and  define a global recognized law framework … only in this way we can reduce risks to an acceptable level.

(Source: CDM & Security Affairs – Cyber security)

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