22 May 2023

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Cybersecurity is a priority for the Three Seas Initiative. The region's authorities and private sector discussed digital threats during a conference held in Bucharest

Close political and business cooperation in the countries of the Three Seas' region is essential given the growing threats. Cybersecurity is a priority for the Three Seas Initiative today. Digital resilience development should be a joint effort between the public and private sectors -argued participants at a conference on cybersecurity in Central and Eastern Europe. The event was organised by the Polish Embassy in Bucharest and Digital Poland Association.

Representatives of the Romanian and Polish authorities, diplomats and experts from the CEE's private sector met to discuss the challenges that the Three Seas Initiative faces due to the increasing number of digital attacks. They focused on digital security of critical infrastructure, the state of public awareness of cyber threats and opportunities to work together to improve the region's resilience within the Three Seas platform.

Cybersecurity is a priority for the Three Seas region

Romania currently holds the presidency of the Three Seas Initiative and will be hosting the Initiative's upcoming summit in Bucharest. As government representatives pointed out, digital security threats affect all citizens today, and responding to them would require close international cooperation. - Since the war in Ukraine broke out, cybercrime has been on the rise in Poland and other countries of the region. We need to protect our citizens from relentless attacks from Russian-funded hacking groups. To fight cybercrime effectively, we need to cooperate and share information. We also need effective tools to fight disinformation," said Janusz Cieszynski, Secretary of State for Digitalisation in the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, in a recording addressed to the guests of the Bucharest meeting. According to the authorities, ensuring cybersecurity is one of the biggest challenges and a priority for countries in the region. - Cybersecurity is crucial for Central and Eastern Europe today. We need to promote the emerging cyber security solutions in the Three Seas Region on the global stage. Close cooperation between the IT sectors of our countries should be promoted to achieve regional goals," said Pawel Jablonski, Undersecretary of State for Development Cooperation and African and Middle East Policy and Plenipotentiary of the Polish Government for the Three Seas Initiative.

Private sector

The conference was attended by representatives of the region's digital industry, including cyber security providers and other representatives of the private sector. The experts emphasised that although the scale of digital threats in the region is steadily increasing, the private sector and especially small and medium-sized enterprises are still often unaware of the risks. They also lack the necessary cybersecurity competences. - While there has been a dramatic increase in the number of digital attacks on private and public sector entities across the region, only one in five SME companies in Europe have informed or trained their employees on cyber threats. Companies outside of the ICT and related industries are still often unaware of the risks and lack the skills and competencies," said Michał Kanownik, President of Digital Poland Association and co-organiser of the event.

Experts agreed that cooperation between Central and Eastern European countries must not only have a political dimension, but also a business one. - It is worth utilising the potential of the Initiative to build a regional single market, where ambitious international digital projects can develop, also within the digital security, added Michał Kanownik, President of Digital Poland Association.