Under the High Patronage of the Swiss Ambassador to Romania and organized in cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union (UN-Geneva), the 5th edition of the Central-European PublicPrivate Dialogue Platform took place in Sibiu.
The audience was mostly made up of ICT service providers and business people, responsible for informatics within the public and the private sectors. The congress attracted for the third consecutive year chief executives of the largest factories in the region and critical infrastructure companies (production, transport and storage of gas, electricity or oil) from Romania.
The presence of the General Managers in person, and not of the security officers as in the previous editions, is the proof of an expected and hoped for evolution for the dialogue that is the cornerstone of this Sibiu Congress, one of the rare manifestations that neither has a technical, nor a marketing character.
The participation of such VIPs is due to a fairly natural reason: WannaCry and Not-Petya hit Europe in May and June of 2017, generating billions of euros in losses in sectors previously believed to be potential targets of organized crime only during financial transactions or for gaining access to databases.
Some of the most eloquent speakers have explained in detail the vulnerabilities of our digital ecosystem.

Vulnerabilities so large that a single devastating virus, Not-Petya (or Goldeneye) “simply launched on the Internet” and not specifically created for a particular enterprise, has caused direct damage, without counting indirect consequences, to an unimaginable scale. A lot of concrete examples were given, including the case of the industrial giant SaintGobain1 (220 million euros of direct losses – 4.4% of profit – only in the first semester and 3 days of work with pens and paper2), Mondelez’s food industry giant (-3% of turnover in Q2) or Maersk shipping leader (losses worth 300 million euros).
Designed specifically for industry executives, the presentations of representatives of the specialized institutions of the Romanian State (Police, intelligence services, the National Computer Security Incident Response Team, the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications) provided the whole country’s detailed analysis. The public has received a preview of the up-to-date situation six months before the mandatory national reporting by each Member State of the Union,

drawn up at the end of each year and published in the first months of the following year. Then, documented security leaders addressed crucial issues for the business and industry world, which have a significant delay in the non-technical understanding of the global Internet insecurity.
The “most wanted” intruder

Nicola Sotira (Chief Information Officer at Poste Italiane, Rome) presented the smartphone’s usefulness in marketing, internal and external communication, and in a range of services available from e-banking to smart payments or remote control. A smartphone carried around 24/7 by its owner is the dream of an entrepreneur and the nightmare of his / hers security officer: at the moment, it is the most vulnerable and most often attacked technology tool in absolute terms.
When the best army is being successfully attacked

Ido Naor (Kaspersky Labs Tel Aviv) traced the lead of a terrorist infiltration group that was about to succeed. On the social networks, a group of young and cute “Canadians” preparing to make a “study visit” to Israel targeted highly specific young recruits from IDF (Israeli army) stationed in the barracks near the Gaza Strip. Social engineering has succeeded, and many Israeli soldiers corresponded with “Canadian girls” and then downloaded a video and audio chat package containing … a Trojan that would have allowed the terrorist group involved to use to their advantage the smartphones of these young people as genuine microphones, photo and video cameras. Only the vigilance of the senior officers and the intelligence officers made possible the cooperation between IDF and Kaspersky Labs. They immediately noticed several outdated Hebrew formulas of the “Canadian” texts, the strange display of a musical application in the downloaded package, and code lines that were aiming directly at … Gaza. If the IDF recruits, trained to be on permanent alert and to detect suspicious behaviors, could fall into the classical trap of the “cute girl”, let us only imagine the damage that a similar operation might produce in a Western enterprise, where success would have been ensured due to the lack of security culture.
A defense on seven levels and no one currently knows more than two

Marco Essomba (CEO, iCyber-Security, Reading), in his speech, Full Stack Cybersecurity Defense, insisted on the need to thoroughly reform the organizational chart and the way in which large companies and industries operate. A holistic vision of the leadership assisted by a security expert and trans-departmental training are vital to tackling the increasingly sophisticated attacks that target all business processes, from finance to manufacturing, and where the human component is the most vulnerable of all. In these “7 levels” of defense, it is crucial to have teams motivated by the new generation of executives, especially among engineers, who know and explain at least 3 levels – or layers – each, thus ensuring the necessary connection with the specialists of the other levels and with niche professionals whose only goal is to be the best on the niche entrusted.
Over the course of two days, more than 20 speakers from 10 countries drew attention to several specific issues where business and industry do not have the right knowledge. For example, when developing the criteria for hiring a new responsible security officer for the specificity of the enterprise in question, or when choosing among the state-of-the-art defense tools the one most adapted to the ecosystem of that enterprise, especially when the latter owns and uses significant amounts of data and services in the cloud or when is remotely interacting with transport and production units.
The last session of the Congress, under the aegis of Vallée de l’Energie and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Belfort, was exclusively devoted to the theme of “Industry 4.0”.

An overview of the dangers and vulnerabilities was presented to the public, as the result of the collaboration between the organizers and the speakers, whose subjects have been intertwined in a pleasant way and have ensured the success of the meeting.
The presentation of the Deputy Director of Cyberint (the special center of the Romanian intelligence service) focused on the current and future blockages caused by the strategic vision related to the creation, over a decade ago, of the category of “critical infrastructures” or “enterprises of strategic interest”, i.e. those for which the state must contribute to ensure their defense. In the field of cyber incidents and crime, this doctrine, whose implementation, although more generous, is currently poorly understood and leads to a reluctance on the part of many entrepreneurs to collaborate with Cyberint or to seek the help of CERT-RO, both state services, in addition to the Police. But if an industry – with its sum of suppliers – with tens of thousands of employees goes bankrupt as a result of an attack, the social consequences would reach a strategic amplitude equal to that of an attack on a region’s electrical network.


Jean-Luc Habermacher (Vallée de l’Energie) and Jean-Gabriel Gautraud (Bessé Conseil) presented the views of a risk manager and of an insurance advisor, showing how advisers to industrial group administrations still consider cyber security an exclusively technological issue. Without the culture of safety and security, without a physical, human approach and constant surveillance of each connected object – even the packing machine at the end of the production chain – each connected terminal becomes both a prey and an aggressor in the hands of an offender, since the devices and the robots were not designed for the security they provide, but for the efficient fulfillment of a precise task.

Virgil Stănciulescu, responsible at ANCOM (the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications), has warned the enterprises, especially the industries, about the exponentially increasing exposure area to malicious attacks that they generate through their own decisions; for example, by installing excessive IoT collectors or by equipping with state-of-the-art robots, automatically refining machines that take their info over Big Data and communicate via multiple channels with both the factory environment and the outside world.

Marc German (IHEDN) and Jean-Jacques Wagner (IUT Belfort), in their presentation Competitive intelligence and cyber security are two sides of the same coin of an enterprise’s endurance have analyzed the world of international competition, where morality and ethics are very rare elements. Data protection, physical and cyber-security of own’ sites, as well as gathering information about the competitors’ plans and development opportunities are actions reserved for intelligence specialists who can manage them simultaneously and professionally together with their teams. By balancing an internal team of qualified professionals, employers often cede to the attractive prices of outsourcing the analytical or defense services. This decision increases the degree of inaccuracy and risk, seriously compromising both security and the basis of strategic decisions that are to be taken later on.

The unparalleled networking atmosphere, a congress brand, and its adaptation to the most important themes of the moment viewed from an international perspective that allows true debate of ideas and cultures are values that have made this congress to be requested for and adapted to other regions of the continent. Thus, the first edition dedicated to Western Europe has took place in Porrentruy (Switzerland) (Cybersecurity – Switzerland, 7-8 December 2017), and the first edition dedicated to the Mediterranean will take place in Noto (Sicily, Italy) (Cybersecurity – Mediterranean, May 10-11, 2018), while the Sibiu congress is still being held annually in midSepte mber. 

Laurent Chrzanovski

Laurent Chrzanovski (HDR Postdoc Phd MA BA) is a Professor at the Doctoral and Postdoctoral School of Social Sciences at the University of Sibiu (Romania). Thanks to his work experience in 12 European and South Mediterranean countries, he has since 2010, expanded his fields of research into cyber security, social, behavioral, cultural and geopolitical aspects. As such, he is a member of the ITU (UN-Geneva) cybersecurity expert group and a contract consultant for the same institution, as well as for several Swiss and French think-tanks (PPP). He founded in 2013 and continues to run, the “Cybersecurity in Romania”, a macro-regional public-private platform (www. cybersecurityromania.ro), supported by the ITU, all related public institutions in the host country, as well as many other specialist organizations from France, Switzerland, Italy and the United Kingdom. In the same spirit, he co-founded in 2015 and is editor-in-chief of one of the very few free quarterly cyber-prevention journals (a PPP) designed for the general public. Originally, intended for Romanian audiences, Cybersecurity Trends is today published – with the collaboration of prestigious specialist partners – in multiple languages adapted to French, Italian, English (as of June 2017) and German (as of September 2017) audiences (https://issuu.com/ cybersecuritytrends). It should be noted that the Congress and the magazine have been promoted and supported by the ITU since 2015 as the “Best Practice Example for the European Continent”. Laurent Chrzanovski is the author / editor of 23 books, of more than 100 scientific articles and as many other texts intended for the general public.

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