Shaping Cybersecurity Conference 2023
In this year's iteration of the Shaping Cybersecurity Conference co-organized by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) and the Digital Society Institute (DSI) at ESMT Berlin, a panel of experts discussed the need for critical reflection on effective prevention and conflict management tools in the face of the cyberattacks and information operations that accompanied Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The disruptive potential of digital technologies extends beyond the conflict zone, with cyberattacks on critical infrastructure becoming a major national security threat even before war. This has exacerbated geopolitical tensions through state sponsorship. The Shaping Cybersecurity Conference 2023 aimed to address three main challenges: better protection of vulnerable partners and allies, mitigation of potential spillover and cascading effects of cyberattacks, and addressing legal issues related to the protection of civilians and critical infrastructure. The conference format included panels and workshops that assessed security risks, explored collective remedies at the multilateral and national levels, and addressed specific issues related to prevention, capacity building, emergency assistance, and international law.
The conference consisted of two panels and three thematic workshops. The first panel explored the international security implications of disruptive cyber tools and their interplay with technologies such as AI and satellite communications. Panelists shared their insights on recent conflicts, followed by a Q&A session. The second panel focused on collective responses to security challenges at the multilateral and national levels. Workshops covered prevention, capacity building, and international law, using scenarios for discussion and brainstorming. All summaries were presented in the final session. The conference aimed to promote innovative policies in the face of rapid technological change and geopolitical competition.
The in-person event took place on June 19 on the premises of the DSI at ESMT Berlin. The event followed the Chatham House rule in a 1.5 track format, involving stakeholders from academia, government, industry, and the military, with interactive tools to encourage participation.