CyberSecMonth reporting: activities in Czech Republic

The conference FUTURE CRISES 2014 was held between 15 – 17 October 2014 in Prague as the already 16th annual international conference of AFCEA Information and communication technology – ITTE and builds on previous successful events dedicated to the issues of information and communication security. The conference was devoted to the issues of cyber security, defence and crisis management.                       

The programme committee, which was composed of prominent experts on security and representatives of important of state, academic and even private organizations, prepared a rich programme with more than forty presentations and practical demonstrations with the intention to inform about the topical trends in the cyber security area, draw attention to the need of a broad national and international cooperation and share experience in lifelong education, science and research in new information technology.

Experts at the conference discussed of how active cyber defenses may integrate with traditional military operations across the spectrum of international conflict as well as how such defenses influence national responses related to deterrence and escalation and as how the effects of such operations impact other military missions. They argues that proper deterrence at this level can serve as an essential element of an overall risk
reduction strategy to keep inevitable and unpreventable minor cyber incidents from escalating.

The persistent increase of cyberspace activities in global events continues to make international dynamics more complex. The cyber space is highly mobile. Mobility of device, as well as their number and vulnerability make cyber space very difficult to understand. Experts agreed that the range of attacks and weapons available is very wide. We must expect targexted and rgically accurate attacks.

Mr. K. Harald Drager and Mr. Thomas V. Robertson propose a three-pronged approach to better prepare the emergency management community to meet these challenges - international education and certification, communication across borders and community engagement.

Certain trends, like unconventional and asymmetric conflict with external support and often conducted by non-state actors as well as cyber terrorism, have already had been identified and observed for some time. BGen. (Ret.) František Mičánek only started paying more attention to these threats in the recent months. Things that are changing, however, are qualitative parameters of the environment in which these threats occur. It is no longer possible to view security environment merely as a physical geographical area in which interests of both state and nonstate actors clash. Broadening of the spectrum, as well as an increasing number of actors, inherently adds more dimensions to the security environment itself. The most profound change is brought by rapidly developing information technology and its swift adaptation into daily lives – something we called virtual dimension.

The greatest attention was paid to education in the field of cyber security. Experts at the conference discussed that current education approaches are enhanced by a set of actions to improve cybersecurity knowhow in the whole of society, and security should be incorporated as a supporting theme that plays throughout the computing curriculum. The most discussed questions were: Who should provide the education in cybersafety? Where and with whom should we start? How can we make it more effective? Who are the relevant stakeholders? What is needed in cyber leadership education? These and other questions asked by many participants at the conference.

Participation of more than 300 experts from 31 world countries underscored the international significance of the conference. Participants included not only representatives of the privates and academic groups but primarily representatives from the public administration, security forces, the military and diplomatic corps. The conference has thus contributed not only to information sharing but and also to the creation of new contacts and developing broad international cooperation.

The event was accompanied by several other events. Czech AFCEA in co-operation with CIRC of Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic, National Cyber Security Centre and Masaryk University in Brno organized live cyber defense demonstration with interactive workshops. During 3-days more than 250 people attended those workshops and had opportunity to learn how to defend from cyber-attacks.

The Police Academy of the Czech Republic in Prague in co-operation with AFCEA organized a seminar for the faculty advisors and the students from 6 student clubs representing 5 countries. The seminar was held at Police Academy. The participants had opportunity to share information about their club activities, not only in cyber security area, as well as to learn a bit more about the activities provided by each university. The host – Police Academy organized a university tour to introduce the academy and its academic programs.