11th Annual European Cyber Security Conference: Reflecting on the successes and challenges of creating cybersecurity policies and looking forward to the next stage: implementation

23 April 2024

Forum Europe’s Annual European Cyber Security Conference took place in Brussels on 19 March for the 11th year. Over 200 participants from 28 countries joined the conference to hear 25 high-level cybersecurity experts explore Europe’s response to cyber and hybrid security issues in what has become a dynamically evolving global risk landscape, all across 4 insightful sessions . Read on for a recap of the discussions, and relive the best moments in our highlights video.


The conference began with keynote speeches from Roberto Viola, the Director General at DG CONNECT and Despina Spanou, the Head of Cabinet of Vice President Schinas at the European Commission.  “We have a unique opportunity through these conferences to implement the discussion and collaboration that we need if we’re going to make all these rules that we’ve put together happen in Europe”, Ms Spanou commented. Her speech explored the importance of upskilling cybersecurity professionals, implementing the policies that have been put in place in the EU and the collaboration needed to achieve this. 


The first panel of the day saw Lorena Boix Alonso, Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity at DG CONNECT and the Head of Digital Affairs Unit in the Permanent Representation of Poland to the EU, Kartarzyna Prusak-Górniak, joined by experts from Microsoft, Broadcom and cybersecurity body ENISA, who discussed the state of the European cybersecurity policy framework. They reflected on the successes of the current mandate and looked to the future, underlining the importance of implementation for the next European Commission and the wider cybersecurity sector.


After the break, the second panel discussed how to build trust in the digital age. The panel looked in particular at the extent to which security by design and security within the supply chain are integral to reducing the threat of large-scale cyber attacks. Paul Watrobski, Information Technology Security Specialist at NIST in the US, commented that it is vital to have transparency in the supply chain as well as concrete industrial control systems that enhance cybersecurity. Also on the panel was Mastercard’s Rigo Van den Broeck, Executive VP of Cyber Security Product Innovation. He explained that Mastercard places security in the design phase of every single solution they develop. 


Artificial Intelligence within the cybersecurity landscape was the topic of the third panel, where speakers discussed how AI can be utilised in, but also respond to, sophisticated attacks. Event sponsor Leonardo expressed the importance of trustworthy AI and using quantum computing to have the power to elaborate AI algorithms and Google explained how they are making their AI algorithms available to all with the aim of improving cybersecurity globally. 


Finally, EEAS’ Manon Le Blanc, Col. Oleksandr Tkachuk from the Mission of Ukraine to NATO, the Italian National Cybersecurity Agency’s Stefania Ducci, among others, discussed cyber security, defence and diplomacy. They examined the importance of transparency and honesty when it comes to cyber attacks and the need to work together with partners and stakeholders to prevent and learn from attacks that are incurred. 


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Thank you to all speakers and delegates who participated in the event and particularly to our event sponsors Broadcom, Google, Mastercard, Microsoft, Trellix, workday, Cloudflare, FiscalNote and Leonardo as well as our strategic partner’s ECSO.  


Stay up to date on next year’s conference by signing up to our event emails for the industries that interest you, and should you wish to be involved in the 12th edition of this event in 2024, please reach out to the team via email