Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Europe observes key CNI security challenges

Held in The Hague, Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Europe 2017 brought together several of the leading figures from the European and world critical infrastructure protection community to discuss some key challenges faced by agencies, operators and industry in ensuring that Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) is safeguarded. Immediately followed by the WannaCry ransomware cyber attack on many CNI sites worldwide, these discussions couldn’t have been more important.

Speaker after speaker emphasised the need for greater co-operation, dialogue and information sharing between all stakeholders, across sectors and across borders if we’re to successfully ensure security and resilience.

Conference chairman John Donlon QPM, who’s also chairman of the International Association of Critical Infrastructure Protection Professionals (IACIPP), explained: “CIPRE 2017 was a significant event where like-minded people had the opportunity to discuss areas of concern and take away new ideas and initiatives. I was truly impressed by the quality of the presenters, the broad range of topics addressed at the event and by the detailed discussions that took place.”

During CIPRE 2017 there were several excellent presentations by some distinguished and experienced individuals from across the whole range of infrastructure and information issues. There were speakers from Government and academia and operators articulating in great detail on both current and developing areas of activity, not only within Europe, but also on a global scale.

The EU Commission provided detail on new programmes of activity, clearly referencing European concerns around the escalation of cyber activity and the need to continue to build public-private sector partnerships.

Indeed, both of these areas were significant themes throughout a conference which covered a wide range of topics from hybrid warfare and prioritisation modelling through to regulations and standards and even the impact of cyber, social media and fake news on elections.

Recurring themes throughout the conference included the importance of trust and collaboration, the sharing of information and Best Practice across sectors and borders, the identification of single points of failure and interdependency, the need to understand the nature of vulnerabilities and prioritise activity, the speed of change within cyber activity, the need to learn from each other and ‘The Insider Threat’.

Finally, John Donlon QPM challenged delegates to join the IACIPP and begin sharing information via the Extranet (to be found at www.iacipp.net). Donlon also invited them to reconvene for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience Europe in The Hague in 2018.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI Editor, Risk UK Pro-Activ Publications

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