19 June 2023
Cyberattacks and information operations accompanying the Russian invasion of Ukraine have underlined the disruptive potential of digital technologies well beyond the immediate conflict zone. Already prior to the war, criminal cyberattacks against critical infrastructure have become major national security threats, heightening geopolitical tensions due to tacit or even active state support.
Against the backdrop of such developments, a critical reflection on effective prevention and conflict management tools among likeminded partners is highly needed. In this context, three main challenges stand out: first, vulnerable partners and allies need better protection – on short notice if need be. Second, potential spill-over and cascading effects of cyberattacks by both state and non-state actors need to be mitigated. Third, the scope of cyber operations raises pressing legal questions regarding the protection of civilians and critical infrastructures. The goal of “Shaping Cybersecurity 2023” was to share lessons learned, exchange experiences, and spur new thinking on effective policies in times of rapid technological change and increasing geostrategic competition.
The conference was hosted by the Federal Foreign Office (AA), the Digital Society Institute at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT), and the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH).