From October 3-5, I attended CyFy, the Indian Conference on Cybersecurity and Internet Governance, in New Delhi. Now in its sixth year, this policy-focused conference organized by Indian think tank Observer Research Foundation brings together government, industry, academia, and civil society from India and around the world to discuss issues related to technology, security, and society.
A main theme at CyFy 2018 was how communities globally are seeking new ideas to operate in cyberspace, particularly as new technologies such as IoT or AI affect our ability to manage cyber risk. In cybersecurity, my area of expertise and interest, I was struck by the commonality of opportunities and challenges raised by participants. Whether the discussion focused on cyber risk insurance globally (a panel I was on), data governance in India and the European Union, or the digitization of banks in Cameroon, people agreed that the dynamic nature of cyberthreats and increasing sophistication of cyber adversaries, coupled with investments in new innovations that can expand vulnerabilities, make it more important to develop effective, globally interoperable cybersecurity policies and practices.
This sentiment was recognized by many CyFy participants, who highlighted the importance of cyberspace and cybersecurity to all countries, particularly in the developing world to support economic growth. This was a key message from the Indian government as well. In his keynote speech, Shri Sanjay Verma, Additional Secretary, Administration, Indian Ministry of External Affairs, remarked that cyberspace has expedited the pace of growth and brought many opportunities, but it has also brought new challenges, including increased infiltration by malicious actors. To address this, he hoped that CyFy would bring about sharing of information and best practices by all participants. In his remarks, Shri GV Srinivas, Joint Secretary (Cyber Diplomacy), Indian Ministry of External Affairs, explained that the government of India, and state governments, are doing all they can to keep cyberspace secure.
CyFy has created a growing community of stakeholders to discuss key issues related to cyberspace. The attendance at this year’s CyFy was extremely varied, including people from India as well as countries such as Cameroon, Germany, Indonesia, Korea, Nigeria, Poland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, the U.K., and the U.S., among others. The Observer Research Foundation went out of its way to ensure such diverse participation, and it was exciting to be among all these people with varying perspectives, experiences, and ideas, who had come together to try to find ways to keep cyberspace vibrant. Palo Alto Networks was honored to be part of CyFy and contribute to these discussions. We look forward to working with policymakers in India and around the world to jointly find ways to raise the level of cybersecurity and maintain trust in the digital age.