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02/07/2018A unified Europe for an open, free, stable and prosperous society (by Elly van den Heuvel & Jean-Christophe Le Toquin, FIC Advisory Board)

A unified Europe for an open, free, stable and prosperous society

 

For the newly appointed Advisory Board of the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC), who just gathered in Brussels for the first time, the goal is clear: keep the EU an open, free, stable  and prosperous Europe by protecting what is ours.

 

In cooperation with the Scientific Committee, the board members are working to make the conference always more worthwhile to attend for the 8600 visitors from 80 countries who attended FIC in 2018, attracted by this grassroot project initiated by the French Gendarmerie in Lille at the crossroads of France, Benelux and the UK.

 

The Advisory Board contributes to the development of the FIC into the best, biggest and output orientated European conference on cybersecurity. We do not want to do this in isolation. We will built on what is all ready there, reach out to existing conferences and join forces with like-minded organisations in Europe. Indeed, we believe that the time is right for a broad European approach of the cybersecurity challenges we face.

 

What can FIC participants expect from us?

  • Address current and future issues, challenges and solutions in cybersecurity, mobilising expert speakers from all over the world;
  • Reach out to visitors from all over Europe and provide unique networking opportunities;
  • The possibility to contribute to foster a pan-European vision on cybersecurity, to make this vision real and full of life, and to make it happen at FIC!

 

Yes, this is our ultimate goal: contribute to develop a pan-European vision and share solutions we can use all over Europe.

 

The good news is – as we agreed among all board members at our meeting – that it has never been easier than today to explain the need for a European approach and how it contributes positively not only to Europeans but to people all over the world.

 

How dare we be that optimistic? The European Union is gradually building a robust framework that provides a common regime for the Member States (think about the NIS Directive or the new cybersecurity strategy which is on its way). All are huge steps in the right direction. Europe is seriously investing in cybersecurity, but we are not there yet. We have to speed up! Public, private and academia have to join forces. Not only in the separate countries, but also on a European level.

 

What makes us optimistic is the global impact of the GDPR, how it has been embraced by companies willing to do business with Europe, how other governments around the world are interested in how we protect the privacy of our citizens.

 

Yes, GDPR imposes stringent rules with hefty fines, but it does that to protect one of the most fundamental rights we have: our privacy. Over time it does not create barriers between countries or silos within companies and organisations. On the contrary it contributes to a culture of transparency, accountability and stability. It has a unifying effect.

 

Sharing knowledge, information, tools and best practices is the only way to reach the required level of cybersecurity in Europe. FIC is the place where this happens. Together with the organisers and the Scientific Board, the Advisory Board will make sure that FIC  builds on the best achievements from Europe and is inspirational for all who seek better ways to make the world a more secure place. Not just for us, but also for the next generations.