In an ever-evolving digital landscape, cyberspace has important features such as global reach, efficiency, universality and affordable access. As a result, more and more aspects of our social life are moving into the virtual realm. In today’s dynamic world, we are witnessing a clear shift of destructive or intelligence activities toward the virtual domain. Various actors are finding it advantageous to attack computer hardware and telecommunications infrastructure components to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. This increased vulnerability and susceptibility of cyberspace to a variety of threats has been recognized by both government authorities and ordinary citizens. As the virtual landscape continues to expand, the range of threats facing the digital realm is likely to escalate.
State vs. cyber threats – an even battle?
In the 21st century, the world has witnessed a growing dependence on information and communication technologies. This growing dependence has prompted modern governments to take proactive measures to address emerging cyber challenges. The stability and security of cyberspace have become essential to the daily lives of citizens, national economies, and the overall functioning of states.
The availability of information and communication technologies has become a key condition for the smooth functioning of modern society. The widespread popularity of cyberspace has even led to a transformation of reality, influencing and shaping existing power structures. Accordingly, the term “cyberdemocracy” has emerged to capture this phenomenon. The authors define cyberdemocracy as a basic concept covering various aspects related to the intersection of information technology and democratic processes. This includes, but is not limited to, citizen participation in governance, the functioning of administrative systems and electoral processes. In certain situations, democratic principles can pose challenges to cyber security. The dynamics of cyber security governance, particularly the interactions between governments and individuals, profoundly impact a country’s power model. The diverse and open nature of cyberspace allows for individual freedom and unlimited expression. However, if democratic values are limited in this domain, there is a risk of tilting the balance between democracy and security in favor of prioritizing security.
Interest in cyber security
A recent study – Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023 – found that more than 39% of organizational leaders recognize the importance of cyber security in achieving business goals. However, a deeper look shows that 51% of business leaders and 32% of security leaders actually agree. The number of cybersecurity experts on corporate boards is growing, allowing better integration of cyber security discussions into strategic business conversations and informed questioning of security teams. However, many business leaders still underestimate the impact of cyber attacks on operations, reputation, and the company as a whole. Compared to last year’s results, business leaders now have a better understanding of the threat landscape, and cyber security leaders are more likely to engage their boards. However, there is still a need for better understanding and communication between cyber security and business leaders, as well as translating cyber threats into meaningful management strategies. Time is a key factor in achieving cyber resilience, and short tenures and high turnover of cyber security talent present challenges.
What will 2030 look like?
The ENISA project team launched an in-depth study of future trends to identify risks. This research led to a long list of trends, which were then analyzed in a PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal) workshop by experts . Researchers specializing in cyber security identified the threats that arose from these trends. The trends were color-coded using expert assessments based on their impact and likelihood. The farther inward the trends are, the more interconnected they are. The relationships between trends are illustrated in the graphic, and the significant connections are marked with a red line. This visualization enables a better understanding of the relationships between trends.
What contribution do startups make to preventing cyber attacks? – RANDAEMON
In 2021, a group of experienced executives and prominent scientists (Janusz Borodzinski, Krzysztof Appelt, Jan “Kuba” Tatarkiewicz, Wieslaw Kuzmicz) came together to found RANDAEMON. Since its inception, the company has amassed an impressive collection of patents and established successful partnerships – including one in the difficult patent landscape of South Korea.
The development of quantum computers has raised concerns about potential security risks on the Internet. As a result, security experts are pursuing the creation of a quantum Internet network that provides secure communications based on the principles of quantum mechanics.
The solution offered by the company involves using beta decay as a reliable source of entropy to generate random numbers. This method makes it possible to generate high-quality random numbers at a fast rate. For example, a small chip with an area of just one square centimeter can generate up to 0.25 Gb of random numbers. The unpredictability of beta decays, which occur in both time and space, ensures the true randomness of the numbers generated. Beta radiation or electrons are safe and easy to detect, making them ideal for local generation of quantum random numbers (QRNG). The QRNGs used by RANDAEMON not only excel at generating random numbers, but are also cost-effective to manufacture and can be seamlessly integrated into conventional chips. In addition, external factors such as temperature, pressure, acceleration, and magnetic or electric fields do not affect the reliability and authenticity of the random numbers generated by our QRNGs.
Currently, only one company – IDquantique from Switzerland – is known to have developed such a generator. The founders of RANDAEMON claim to have created the world’s second generator that is independent of the external environment. The invention was tested at the Institute of Microelectronics and Photonics of the Lukasiewicz Network.
The complexity of cybersecurity requires a multifaceted approach – governments, business, and academia must work together, crossing borders and sharing insights to create a defense network. Investments in research, innovation, and policy frameworks lay the groundwork for a future in which digital innovation thrives in harmony with robust security measures.