CYBERSEC 2024: Poland and the West are launching a counterattack on the Internet. Cybersecurity protection needs to be more proactive

Luc Williams

Cybersecurity is a hot topic today in at least three areas: personal, i.e. each of us – network users, business and geopolitical-military. Which of these areas will we talk about at CYBERSEC 2024?

About each of them, and the most important link between them is a fundamental change in the approach to broadly understood security in cyberspace. In all of these areas, it is becoming increasingly clear that the days when security was limited to building digital walls and using other passive defense measures are over. We cannot stop at reacting to attacks by various types of cybercriminals, because they are becoming more and more complex and multi-faceted.

On the one hand, we have a permanent attack on our infrastructure, and on the other – constant attempts to undermine and destroy the values ​​on which the West is based, sowing confusion through disinformation…

We are under attack in all areas, by all methods available today, as individuals, as collectives and as a Western community. That's why we need a much more proactive strategy to ensure the security of our digital space – now and in the future. We must be able to accurately predict hostile actions and counteract them using innovative technological solutions, because only this will allow us to create a safe cyber environment. Such very active action should take place simultaneously in the military, scientific and business sectors – and must be well coordinated.

Krzysztof Gawkowski, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digitization, will speak about the geopolitical and military perspective at CYBERSEC. What do you expect from his speech?

Poland is preparing to take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union at the beginning of 2025 and – as the Deputy Prime Minister signals – cybersecurity is to be one of the key topics of our leadership. So we meet in Krakow, among others. to discuss digital priorities for Poland, Europe and the transatlantic bloc. We are pleased that the minister emphasizes the need for a more proactive approach to this issue. This is hardly surprising: every day we receive information from the Ministry of Digitization about the growing number of cyber threats and the increase in the frequency of attacks on targets in Poland. A proactive approach requires intensive cooperation from all walks of life, and this is what we will talk about. That is why we invited such a wide representation of the public and private sectors, scientists, experts and activists of non-governmental organizations.

What role does business have to play in going beyond the walls, i.e. creating proactive shields?

This is a role that cannot be overestimated. Our goal at CYBERSEC is to combine the potentials of various environments, including business. We have created a great space for presenting various types of products and solutions for proactive protection against cyber threats, as well as for debate on this topic and networking. It is worth noting that companies have effective solutions not only for the public and business sphere, but also for regular users who use the network on a daily basis.

And the list of threats is growing.

Yes,We are dealing not only with theft or data leaks, account hacks and attempts to extort ransom by people hacking accounts, but also with increasingly advanced disinformation and fraud based on deep fakes. It is impossible to effectively defend against this without awareness of the threats, but also without advanced tools. We devote a lot of space in the CYBERSEC agenda to the pitfalls of disinformation, which is a form of attack on our values ​​and lifestyle that is constantly being waged as part of the war against the West.

What is the significance of the fact that CYBERSEC takes place in Krakow?

We are very happy that the event is returning to the city where it originates – also because there is not only an excellent scientific and research ecosystem here, but also many companies involved in creating technologies to ensure cybersecurity. Over 50 thousand IT specialists work for key technology corporations for which digital security has become a priority. We also do not hide the role that Krakow has been playing since the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine…

During CYBERSEC, the Ukrainian government will be represented by Georgii Dubynskyi, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation.

His presence is extremely important and valuable. For obvious reasons, leading Ukrainian politicians today focus on waging a murderous war and appear only at conferences where they expect important decisions and solutions that will help them win the war. CYBERSEC has become known for being not only a space for inspiring debates and presenting innovative solutions, but also a place for agreeing on important issues and forging decisions. Ukrainians are very interested in the proactive approach of Western allies to cybersecurity, and we want the discussions to be followed by specific steps. We believe that the West must launch a decisive counterattack today in all areas of cyberspace.

One of the goals of CYBERSEC is to provide real support to Polish entrepreneurs – there is probably no company that is not online and does not use its resources.

Crucially, we have an EU legal framework, led by the NIS-2 directive (Network and Information Systems Directive 2), extending NIS, the first comprehensive European regulation in the area of ​​cybersecurity, to numerous entities in the public and private sectors. It will enter into force in October 2024 and is keeping many entrepreneurs, especially smaller ones, awake at night. We hear from some of them that they will not implement these regulations, they prefer to pay fines, as was initially the case with GDPR…

NIS2 applies to medium and large companies and institutions from the following sectors: energy, transport, banking, financial market infrastructure, health, drinking water, sewage, digital infrastructure, public administration and food.

It should be remembered that the directive also covers companies belonging to the supply chains of the above-mentioned entities, and therefore also many smaller entrepreneurs: they also have to introduce many security solutions and procedures. The penalties for inaction are steep, and there is financial and personal liability for senior management, so they need to be taken seriously. But we at CYBERSEC do not intend to scare you with this, but on the contrary – to help entrepreneurs become familiar with and understand this topic so that they can more easily cope with all the challenges. This is in their best interest: many companies find out every day that the lack of investment in cybersecurity has terrible consequences. We will talk about it during panel debates, but in the EXPO zone there will also be Polish and foreign companies that provide such solutions and will certainly share their knowledge and tips.


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.