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Cyber Polygon 2021: Towards Secure Development of Digital Ecosystems

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Cybersecurity is one of the most important topics on the global agenda, boosted by the pandemic. As the global digitalisation is further accelerating, the world is becoming ever more interconnected. Digital ecosystems are being created all around us: countries, corporations and individuals are taking advantage of the rapid spread of the Internet and smart devices. In this context, a single vulnerable link is enough to bring down the entire system, just like the domino effect.

On June 9, 2021, the III annual international online training event Cyber Polygon took place. It connects various global organisations to train their competencies, exchange best practices and bring tangible results to the world community. 200 organizations from 48 countries tested their skills in repelling cyber threats as part of Cyber ​​Polygon 2021.

Cyber Polygon is an initiative by strategic digital risk management company BI.ZONE, part of Sber’s ecosystem, with support from the World Economic Forum (WEF) Centre for Cybersecurity and INTERPOL.

The training event consists of two parallel tracks: an online conference for a wide audience and a practical segment for cybersecurity experts.

Two hundred organizations took part in the technical training event, including major financial and technological companies and representatives of public institutions, law enforcement agencies, telecommunications and energy organizations, and a variety of other sectors. The teams learned how to deflect targeted supply chain attacks within a corporate ecosystem.

The high-level expert discussion during the online conference on different cybersecurity aspects involved Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder; Jürgen Stock, Secretary-General of Interpol; Roger Halbheer, Chief Security Advisor, Microsoft; Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross; Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe; Mathew Dill, Global Head of Strategic Partnerships and Ventures, Senior Vice President, Visa, and other international speakers. Over 7 million viewers from 78 countries joined the online broadcast of the expert sessions.

Even a direct line with the astronauts who are now on the International Space Station was organized, during which they unveiled that the most vulnerable data from the ISS is protected with encryption and cannot be decrypted during transfer even if tapped.

Technological innovations continue to define the business development directions, relations between people and sometimes even countries. Governments and businesses create ecosystems, which are networks of companies and various services. Growing bigger and wider, ecosystems may become more vulnerable. How to ensure the sustainability and safe evolution of corporate ecosystems? Sber’s CEO Herman Gref spoke about this at the dedicated session Ecosystems as a new way of global integration with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. The speakers discussed how Apple developed, what obstacles and risks ecosystems face today, and what role technology and education play in the development of the digital world.

During the session dedicated to developing an international response to combating ransomware Craig Jones, Cybercrime Director at INTERPOL, stated that international regulation at this stage is not enough for the cybercrime level. According to him, the popularity of cryptocurrencies has led to the spread of ransomware. Therefore, cryptocurrencies need to be brought into the broad international financial structure to reduce the number of “safe havens” for cybercriminals.

The cryptocurrencies topic was raised not only once during the event. There was a special session dedicated to making the financial system resilient as digital currencies proliferate with the participation of Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe, Mathew Dill, Global Head of Strategic Partnerships and Ventures, Senior Vice President, Visa and Alexey Zabotkin, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia. The experts agreed that the financial industry is always among the first to embrace innovations and it is necessary to estimate the possible risks of new technologies, in addition to their advantages.

The final session of the Cyber Polygon 2021 was a dialogue between Stanislav Kuznetsov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sber, and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore about the problem of cyberbullying and protecting children from the threats of the digital world.

Stanislav Kuznetsov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sber said:

For the third year in a row, Cyber ​​Polygon has brought together top executives of government agencies and large international organizations, cybersecurity experts and IT specialists from around the world. We spoke about the opportunities and risks of technological development, discussed the security of digital currencies, and imagined the future of the digital state. I think it is especially important that we also discussed the topic of protecting children in cyberspace at the event.