IGF 2017 – Moderated high-level policy session 11

14 Jun 2017 10:00h - 11:00h

Event report

[Read more session reports from WSIS Forum 2017]

The moderator, Ms Brenda Aynsley (Chair, International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3)) described how the Internet has changed since she first became involved with it during the 1990s.  Confidence in and security of the use of the Internet are of greater importance than ever before, especially as more people, particularly youth,  engage with it.

WSIS Action Line Facilitator, Mr Reinhard Scholl (Deputy Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau) explained that ITU provides standards for security and invests heavily in capacity building to ensure that people can trust in the use of ICTs. However, it is hard to be optimistic about cybersecurity when computer and network security is getting worse rather than improving. Cybersecurity is not just a technical issue, it is a human issue.  Information security awareness, intelligence sharing, and collaboration are the best tools for cybersecurity.

Mr Victor Lagunes (Chief Information Officer, Office of the President of Mexico) stated that cybersecurity is an important goal in Mexico and that the government is investing in technical skills to support this development. Mexico has 60 million Internet users. The government has a digital strategy to modernise its processes, and in particular, to encourage public access to its web services.

Mr Leonid Yevdochenko (Chairman, State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine) voiced his appreciation for the support that has been given by the European Union through more liberal trade and visa policies. These have been important success criteria for technological development in his country. Cooperation among its stakeholders is a driving force for building trust and security – valuable contributors to the development of Ukraine as an information society. 

Prof. Yuko Murayama (International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP)) stated that trust is a multi-disciplinary concept that includes security, safety, reliability, and usability.  It is related to the field of cybersecurity psychology.

Ms Areewan Haorangsi (Secretary General, Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT), Thailand) said that trust is one of the important pillars of APT’s strategic plan. To strengthen knowledge and skills within the region, APT is organising ICT policy and regulatory capacity building for its members. Ministry meetings share knowledge and practical experience about their cybersecurity incidences and issues, but there also needs to be more public awareness.

Dr Richard Hill (President, Association for Proper Internet Governance, Switzerland) personalised his presentation by first asking the audience who had a phone application and had also provided their credit card details to that website?  He expanded on potential security breaches and how these could be addressed. But breaches were not limited to individuals or small operation. They also impact large organisations, such as Microsoft and the recent ‘WannaCry’ attack on one of its operating systems.

Mr Jan Neutze (Director, Microsoft Cybersecurity Policy) acknowledged the topic of trust as being essential, not only from a technology provider perspective, but also for governments who want to incentivise the global market and economy. The challenge is how trust in Microsoft’s services is impacted by other developments, such as cyber-attacks. Microsoft believes that governments are key players and have fundamental roles in cyberspace: (1) they are significant users; (2) they are the protectors of cyberspace; and (3) they are the exploiters of cyberspace.  Governments are generally the first responders to cyber-attacks.   Microsoft spends thousands of dollars on security. It believes that governments could also contribute more towards cyber-defence.

Ms Aruna Sundararajan (Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, India) introduced her presentation with some demographic statistics related to Internet users in India and why a secure cyberspace is of paramount importance. The government is taking cybersecurity issues seriously, especially in relation to (1) the lack of capacity for many of its users to understand the threats that are emerging, mainly due to low levels of literacy or education; therefore a large education and awareness campaign is necessary; (2) the digital payment system which has identified a need for separate computer emergency response teams (CERTs) for both the financial and telecom sectors; (3) a national cyber coordination centre (NCCC) has been established to provide ongoing diagnostics of the health of their telecom networks.


by Maureen Hilyard