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05 October 2016

TechNet Europe 2016 – Seen and Heard

Over 200 delegates: 20 nations represented; 34 speakers – and an articulate and eloquent debate, with some measure of agreement that government and industry need to partner more closely, but no really crystal clear roadmap as to how to achieve that – yet.

Rear-Adm. Maarten Tossings, Principal Director of Organisation and Chief Information Officer, Netherlands Ministry of Defence:

“There are questions in every aspect of the cyber defence domain – questions we have yet to resolve. For example, I was meeting recently with some major banks and they were quite surprised to learn that defending [their IT systems] is not currently a task for the military.”

“Tactical ISR – that is Big Data in practice!”

Terry Halvorsen, Chief Information Officer, US DoD:

“The cyber issue is everywhere – it is pervasive and accelerating – and that is a problem for government: our systems and processes are not keeping pace.”

“Outsourcing [of generic or specific IT functionality] is not the optimal solution: but partnership perhaps is. I believe our ability to bring in the true partnership we need between government and industry is our secret for success.”

“The leadership needs to pull back responsibility for transparency from the lawyers – because at the moment it is not working.”

Dr. Jamie Shea, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges

“Cyber is the ultimate democratisation of conflict.”

“Organised crime is now offering cyber security services to jihadists.”

Murray Davidson, Director of Strategy, NCI Agency

“Whenever there is a problem, it is a people problem.”

“I worry about the future – about what I will be asked to fix. That is the biggest part of my real job.”

“We have forgotten about symmetric warfare. We need to be planning for a borader range of contignencies.”

Col. Hans van Dalen, Commander, Netherlands Joint ISTAR Command

“We face a new kind of warfare – chaoplexic warfare in which chaos provides the metrics rather than energy or effects.”

Lt.-Gen. Riho Terras, Commander, Estonian Defence Forces

“The current situation [in Europe] is beginning to look more and more like that just before the First World War: it is a total mess everywhere.”

“Russia has just appointed a new Parliament: ‘elected’ is too strong a word for the process in which only 16% [of the electorate] voted.”

“Our defence budget represents what we can do: the US spends the equivalent of our defence budget every five hours.”

Peter Rost, Head of Business Development & Marketing, Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity GmbH

“The ‘Airbag’ model of cyber defence: “If it happens, make it hurt less!”

“Society wise, we are still in the Wild West era,” in response to “is it not more likely a hostile cyber attack will be made against civil rather than military infrastructure?”

Dr. Phil Jones, Head of Countries and Operations Cybersecurity (Europe), Airbus Defence & Space

“We need to be investing in active disruption,” in response to “should be focus investment in defensive or offensive cyber capability?”

Maj.-Gen. Koen Gijsbers (ret.), General Manager, NCI Agency

“There is an arc of insecurity and instability along NATO’s periphery and beyond, especially to the east and south.”

“Interoperability is not all about technology: it is maybe 10% technology and the rest relies on our understanding and ability to work together.”

“Agility is the most important factor. Cyber needs to move faster from the technology to the operational domain: nothing is static.”

“Innovation money no longer lies with government: it is with industry. The IT industry in Silicon Valley alone has more than $100 billion a year [to fund innovation].”