Looking back at the PwC Cybersecurity Day 2017

Press Release, 9 November 2017

  • Public/private cooperation deemed essential to face cybercrime
  • Securing the Internet of Things has become a priority
  • 30% of security incidents come from the inside according to the 2018 Global State of Information Security Survey

In just two years, the PwC Cybersecurity Day has become a recognised event in Luxembourg’s business calendar. Its objective is to foster exchanges between players from the private and public sector in order to work together at national level in the area of cybersecurity, put forward next-generation solutions to fight cyberattacks and, last but not least, to promote the development of cybersecurity in order to meet key European and international challenges.

Accelerating exchanges and promoting innovation to build confidence

The second PwC Cybersecurity Day was held as part of the Cybersecurity Week - Luxembourg and it brought together about 200 IT security professionals from both the private and public sector, international experts, investors and technology companies which put forward their innovative solutions.

"If there is one lesson to be learnt from our event, it is that things are speeding up at all levels in this area” says Vincent Villers, Partner and Cybersecurity Leader at PwC Luxembourg. "On the one hand, you can see on a daily basis that cyberattacks are increasing exponentially and are becoming more sophisticated, but at the same time companies are increasingly aware of this ever-present risk. On the other hand, connected ecosystems are developing, as is the case here in Luxembourg. In these ecosystems, governments, public bodies and private sector entities together are shaping the contours of a secured digital market capable of ensuring their local companies’ competitiveness and growth and of contributing to the economy of tomorrow”.

This sentiment was echoed, among others, by Nicolas Buck, head of FEDIL - The Voice of Luxembourg’s Industry, who recalled, in the preamble to his talk, that working together effectively in Luxembourg to meet the global cybersecurity challenges was essential because it makes it possible to build sustainable trust and, that way, to support Luxembourg undertakings with markets beyond the country’s borders, in Europe or elsewhere in the world. He particularly urged key players to drive and strengthen the current cybersecurity ecosystem in Luxembourg as what has been done with success for the investment fund business few years ago.

IoT: 80% of applications escape vulnerability searches

While the event brought together a number of cybersecurity experts from all walks of life who had come to share the latest trends in the area, the Internet of Things (IoT) was at the heart of the talks of this second PwC Cybersecurity Day and they especially focused on how to secure connected devices, which are expected to total over 20 billion by 2022.

According to Mourad Yesayan from Paladin Capital (Washington D.C.), we are increasingly digitising human beings and the IoT is creating numerous digital platforms, which open up unprecedented economic horizons. Taking the example of the connected car – which will be autonomous in the near future – the speaker demonstrated the major role the IoT plays in transport innovation and in the implementation of smart cities. And while the example of the IoT for transport can be applied to tomorrow’s society as a whole, this also reflects a series of threats which should be taken seriously.

The talks by LuxTrust’s Povilas Žinys and vyzVoice CEO Robert Spicer made the delegates aware that only 20% of the IoT’s applications currently undergo vulnerability assessments, which raises concerns as to how secure they are.

"This lack of standardisation in the IoT sector will need to be remedied by all stakeholders –including governments – joining forces and developing common protocols as part of specific infrastructures. The role of governments is particularly crucial in this area. For them, this is not only about implementing a regulatory framework, but they must also strengthen its action in connection with the undertakings concerned and together find solutions to secure the devices relying on the IoT or on artificial intelligence” says Vincent Villers.

The shortage of skills to meet cybersecurity challenges was also addressed during the conference, since there will be a shortage of one million engineers in Europe to meet the needs in this area according to figures from the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO).

"Projects could move forward in Luxembourg through the implementation of suitable training curricula. This would enable Luxembourg to position itself as a hub of learning and practices in the area at European level” says Vincent Villiers.

In line with the objectives which made the first event successful, this year again, the PwC Cybersecurity Day enabled 10 companies from Europe, the USA and Israel to present their innovative technology solutions on stage.

At the end of the conference, the Jury’s Choice Award went to Austrian company Cyber Trap, which offers a solution that can catch out hackers by using fake accounts or files. The People's Choice Award went to US company Stratus which put forward a short-lived online interface which enables users to be the only ones to access an IT environment (e.g. computer servers) for a specific period.

The human factor is still the biggest threat in 2017

As US analyst Graham Cluley reminded delegates in his speech, undertakings across the world are speeding up their digital transformation by using new technology and Big Data to grow and innovate. While the digital wave is sweeping across all lines of business the world over, undertakings are becoming increasingly reliant on virtual resources and they are learning how to better recognise, manage and anticipate the associated risks, the biggest of them being internal.

This conclusion is supported by PwC’s yearly Global State of Information Security Survey, which shows that external incidents tended to decrease from 2016 to 2017 (23% of attacks by hackers in 2017 compared with 26% in 2016 for instance), while the most recurring vector remains an internal one. Survey respondents indeed stated that 30% of incidents in 2017 were triggered by their employees and 26% by former employees.

All the findings from the 2018 Global State of Information Security Survey are available now on the PwC website.

Note to the editor

About PwC

1.   PwC Luxembourg (www.pwc.lu) is the largest professional services firm in Luxembourg with 2,850 people employed from 77 different countries. PwC Luxembourg provides audit, tax and advisory services including management consulting, transaction, financing and regulatory advice. The firm provides advice to a wide variety of clients from local and middle market entrepreneurs to large multinational companies operating from Luxembourg and the Greater Region. The firm helps its clients create the value they are looking for by contributing to the smooth operation of the capital markets and providing advice through an industry-focused approach.

2.    At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 236,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com and www.pwc.lu.

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Youcef Damardji
Communications & Media Relations , PwC Luxembourg
Tel: +352 49 48 48 5821

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