Dr. Ivan I. Belyaev
Co-Chairman of the Forum,
Security Council of the Russian Federation Information Security Coordinator
Dear conference participants! My fellow colleagues! Please allow me on behalf of the Executive Office of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and from myself personally to extend the warmest greetings to the organizers, participants and guests of the International Forum Partnership between State, Civil Society and Business in the Field of International Information Security.
This year already, for the seventh time, Garmisch-Partenkirchen gives a warm welcome to government officials, scientists and experts representing research and educational centers of the world’s most developed nations. The Forum participants have got together again to discuss the most pressing issues in the area of information security. The upcoming conference is very well-timed and the problems planned to be discussed are of extreme importance and relevance.
It appears to be quite obvious that any active introduction of information and communication technologies into various areas of operation of the machinery of the state makes international information security one of the top priorities.
As a natural process of further technological development, the global community begins to form political, legal and institutional frameworks to counter challenges and threats to information security.
The trans-border nature of such challenges increases vulnerability of the information infrastructure of a nation. This is especially true for assets with critical importance for the national security. Instances of destructive information activity have now become more frequent and represent a serious threat to sovereignty and territorial integrity of any nation. Furthermore, exposure to such destructive information may have adverse consequences both for individuals and society as a whole.
Today, we are all very aware of how serious and massive the new challenges and threats have become in so rapidly developing a field as information and communication technologies. Well knowing the severity of possible consequences of abuse of such advanced technologies, the international community recognizes the urgent need to consolidate efforts in this very important area. We truly believe that the time to reconfigure the system of international information security is approaching. The new system must have sound resistance to all new threats to the security of the global cyberspace.
Identifying the essential elements of such a system and conditions for its reliable operation and evolution should become, above all, the subject of scientific discussions and expert opinions. The international conference of high-ranking officials responsible for national security held in Yekaterinburg in September 2011 marked the start of the above process. At the conference in Yekaterinburg, Russia presented the Draft Concept for the Convention on International Information Security.
The above concept, along with its subject problem in general, were discussed at a scientific seminar which was a part of the last year’s Forum in Garmisch- Partenkirchen. Later on, the conceptual approaches to international information security were also discussed at other international venues, including the conferences in Changsha, Hong Kong, Budapest, etc.
The discussions held so far have shown that the idea of consolidating the efforts of the international community with the purpose of ensuring international information security finds support. Today, the need for bringing the potential the world powers together has become ever so evident. Trying to tackle this problem alone, even when a nation commands a vast resource potential, cannot guarantee absolute security to the state.
It is worthwhile to note the leading role of government agencies in ensuring information security. At the same time, we must emphasize that in this area there is a wide range of opportunities for cooperation between public authorities, institutions of civil society, academia, experts in the field and the business community. Only through a partnership between the public and the private sectors can the desired results seem practically achievable.
At this Forum, we speak of the need for a more active involvement of available research potential. By way of applying the knowledge and experience accumulated by the academics of different nations, we could identify efficient measures and mechanisms to deal with the present day challenges and threats in the field of information. It appears that the subject of inquiry may be the challenges and threats themselves or their sources. Also, a thorough study of all possible consequences of exposure of critical national infrastructure to destructive information is required. In our opinion, scientific approach and system analysis will facilitate the development of most efficient measures to counter hostile and unlawful applications of information and communication technologies.
The need for development of a consistent body of terminology in the field in question has lately gained fundamental importance. It is a very important area of application of scientific and research expertise. As the great d’Alembert put it: “… the moment you agree about your terminology you have eliminated a good half of all possible misconceptions…” The other component of great importance would be to organize joint research in international information security and share experience and achievements, or, putting it in the modern language: ‘best practices’.
Measures as indicated above and others may prove to be the first step towards reaching a common understanding of the processes currently at play in the area in question. The following step should involve standardization of national legislations with regard to ensuring information security. Provisions for international information security developed under a unified and consistent legal framework shall make a significant contribution of the global community into the program of countering emerging threats.
Even today the foundation for the future cooperation could be laid by introducing uniform rules and regulations (the Code) of responsible behavior of nations in cyberspace. The need for such uniform rules and regulations has been recognized by the international community, and this important work is already underway. In September 2011, Russia, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan distributed The International Code of Conduct for Information Security as an official document at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly. It appears that the next logical step would be to continue to move down this path.
I believe that the scope of the discussion items will allow the participants to scrutinize not only the above problem of development of applicable rules of conduct, but also many other aspects of international information security. The Forum provides an excellent opportunity to exchange views on the most pressing issues and determine the strategy for the joint effort aimed to address them.
I hope that the publication of the Forum materials will make a considerable contribution into the effort to consolidate international cooperation and reinforce confidence in the global cyberspace.
I wish all the Form participants productive and successful work.
This speech was delivered at the 7th Scientific conference of the International Research Consortium on Information Security, as part of the International Forum on «Partnership of state authorities, civil society and business community in ensuring international information security», held on 22-25 April 2013 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. It is published on Digital.Report with an explicit permission from the conference organizers.