Cybersecurity forum opens in Katowice, south Poland

Minister of Digital Affairs Marek Zagórski told the forum that a cybersecurity strategy for 2019-2024, drafted by his ministry, is ready and awaits Morawiecki's signature. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

The two-day 5th European Cybersecurity Forum (Cybersec 2019) opened on Tuesday in Katowice, south Poland, to discuss 5G security, cyber defence and geopolitical challenges in the development of digital technology.

President Andrzej Duda wrote in a letter to the conference participants that governance in cyberspace is the 21st century global challenge while the protection of privacy, personal data, identity, dignity and ownership is a key condition for the safe functioning of citizens in the new cyber-environment.

According Duda, the emerging European single digital market is seriously changing the economy of Europe and creates a chance to increase the global competitiveness of the whole continent, including Poland. "The currently developed common standards for network, application and data exchange security create an extremely attractive and innovative (international - PAP) market for trade and services," he wrote, adding that Poland shares in its shaping, including through regional initiatives.

The president pointed to such initiatives as the Act on National Cybersecurity System adopted last year, which introduced a common cybersecurity certification scheme for IT products and services. He also noted that for the first time, in such a wide range, the private sector became responsible for the country's cyberspace security.

In a separate letter addressing the forum, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote that the government is dedicated to the further development of the civil and military cyber defence system, pointing to the major initiatives of recent months in the digital affairs and national defence ministries such as implementing educational programmes, campaigns and training in digital market security, the establishment of cyberspace defence forces and setting up the National Cyberspace Security Centre.

He also said that digital market security is among the Polish government's priorities and that Poland wants to play the role of the region's leader in cybersecurity, through its new cybersecurity strategy for the next five years to help protect the country against digital threats in key areas of the state's functioning.

Minister of Digital Affairs Marek Zagórski told the forum that a cybersecurity strategy for 2019-2024, drafted by his ministry, is ready and awaits Morawiecki's signature.

The strategy will develop the country’s National Cybersecurity System established by a law adopted last year, which allocated tasks and responsibilities to prevent and minimise the effects of cyberattacks in Poland, Zagórski said.

It will also seek to expand Poland’s information-exchange system and boost its cybersecurity technology potential. Other proposals include mechanisms for cooperation between the public and private sector, so that officials and entrepreneurs can better address cyber threats.

"We have several specific goals in this, including raising awareness, developing tools, including those made in Poland. An important element of the strategy is international cooperation, which should be continued because when it comes to this type of threat and this component of our security, no country is able to implement it fully on its own, Zagórski said.

The Cybersec forum's initiator and main host is the Kościuszko Institute, a Polish non-governmental research institute established in Krakow in 2000. Its mission is to further the social and economic development of Poland as an active member of the European Union and NATO. The foundation launched the Cybersec meetings four years ago.

The forum is accompanied by a cybersecurity product and service fair.