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Stéphane Duguin and the creation of a safer and more secure cyberspace

Stéphane Duguin is the CEO of CyberPeace Institute: the expert will participate to the upcoming phygital edition of European Security Forum. A couple of months before taking the stage to share his vision, he tells us more about the missions of the Institute and presents some of its main initiatives. Do not miss his presentation and register now: www.europeansecurityforum.com.


How would you define the mission of the CyberPeace Institute?

The CyberPeace Institute’s mission is to enhance the stability of cyberspace through our three main pillars of Assistance (supporting vulnerable communities), Accountability (analyzing attacks collaboratively), and Advancement (advancing responsible behavior). These pillars build on the simple reality that infrastructure, networks, regulations, norms, and protocols are merely enablers in cyber. At the end of the day, cyber is about people. By decreasing the harms of escalating cyber conflict we strive to fully realize the promise of the digital era for people all over the world


What are the institute’s main initiatives?

Guided by our human-centric approach, we have begun launching a series of operational initiatives aimed at providing assistance, promoting accountability and advancing responsible behavior in cyberspace to support the resilience of critical civilian infrastructure and protect the most vulnerable among us.  Most recently, we have focused on supporting some of the most vulnerable in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic – in particular, healthcare facilities and professionals taking unprecedented measures to cope with the pandemic and who are simultaneously under attack by malicious actors in cyberspace. In the month of March 2020 alone, hospitals, testing and medical facilities, government health agencies and even the World Health Organization have fallen victim to cyber operations. These attacks have put thousands of human lives at risk. To support these organizations, together with our partners we have launched Cyber4Healthcare, a healthcare-cybersecurity match-making service that connects healthcare organizations in need of cybersecurity advice with reputable actors willing to offer a wide range of cybersecurity assistance services free of charge. This initiative aims to support hospitals, care facilities, clinics, labs, and clinicians, as well as pharmaceutical, life sciences, and medical device companies that are providing, researching, developing, and manufacturing COVID-related treatments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) working to combat COVID-19. Cyber4Healthcare is just the beginning. Our goal is to build on this effort, scaling up new initiatives to mobilize the great potential and desire within our global community to take collective action and protect our shared cyberspace.


What are some of the most unique situations you had to face/counter as a cyberthreat expert?

Perhaps most compelling about the Institute’s work is its focus on the impact of cyber technologies and cyber threats on daily life, on the fundamental rights and every day, essential activities that civilians everywhere rely upon to survive and to flourish. This is what we mean by a human-centric approach to cyberspace. Throughout my career, I have watched discussions about “cyber” evolve from being focused around a niche area reserved for computer scientists, coders and technologists, to a high-level policy issue for governments and large corporations and now finally to where I believe it should be – an issue central to fundamental rights and daily civilian life. In this context, some of the most unique situations I have faced as a cyberthreat expert have been at the intersection of advanced technologies and civilian life. For example, the Institute’s current focus on assisting healthcare organizations highlights how cyber threats impact the provision of medical care and the global fight against a viral pandemic. In the end, creating a safer and more secure cyberspace is about creating a safer and more secure world for all.