Information about the first meeting on Water and Cyber Security (Part I), which took place on 18 November 2020, can be found here.
The water sector is a part of every country’s critical infrastructure. With increasing digitization, the water sector is becoming more efficient, but also more vulnerable to cyber-attacks, particularly when faced with a lack of awareness, capacity, and willingness to invest. Cyber-attacks on the water sector can endanger drinking water supply, water quality, transboundary flood risk reduction, water flows and water allocations, electricity, agricultural production, as well as wastewater collection and treatment systems with devastating effects on health, environment and economy.
At the national level, various efforts are under way to understand threats, manage risks, deal with the incidents, and develop capabilities and resilience. Cybersecurity risk management and assessment need to become central to water facilities governance. Partnership with the technology industry is essential.
Cybersecurity risks can only be effectively managed through enhanced international cooperation. This is especially important in transboundary river basins – attacks on the infrastructure of one country can also pose serious threats to facilities in other riparian countries.
While there is a consensus that international law, including the United Nations Charter in its entirety, applies to cybersecurity, unfortunately, the precise contours of how it does remains a subject of discussions. By adopting the UNGA Resolution 70/237 (2015), states agreed that they should not conduct or knowingly support hostile cybersecurity operations against critical infrastructure. States need to go a step further and clarify what protection international law offers specifically to water infrastructure both in peacetime situations and during armed conflicts.
The meeting will bring together experts from different countries, international organizations and the private sector to explore enhancements on implementation of SDG6 and SDG16 of the Agenda 2030. It will reaffirm commitment to multilateralism in the area of new challenges regarding water. To face these challenges, we need a networked multilateralism, strengthening coordination among multilateral and regional organizations; and an inclusive multilateralism, based on deep interaction with civil society, businesses, local and regional authorities and other stakeholders. Participants will explore possible practical follow-up to facilitate the exchange of information and best practices, and to discuss the implications of international law.
14:00 – 14:30 Welcome addresses
• Prof Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
• Mr Mark Montgomery, Executive Director of the US Cyberspace Solarium Commission
• Ambassador Iztok Grmek, Director General at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia
• Mr Amir Saggie, Director of the Cybersecurity Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel
14:30 – 15:15 The state of cybersecurity of water infrastructure in Africa
• Moderator: Ambassador Tanja Miskova, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia
• UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) – Mr Jean-Paul ADAM, Director, Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management Division
• Nigeria – Mr T. George-Maria Tyendezwa, CFE, Assistant Director| Cybercrime Prosecution Unit, Federal Ministry of Justice of Nigeria
• South Africa – Dr Masike Malatji, University of Johannesburg
15:15 – 16:30 Cybersecurity capacity building – opportunities for partnerships and cooperation
• Moderator: Dr Deborah Housen-Couriel, Chief Legal Officer and VP Regulation, Konfidas Digital Ltd., and Advisory Board Member at Hebrew University Law and Cyber Security Research Center
• EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) – Mr Patryk Pawlak
• Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) – Mr Chris Painter
• Microsoft – Ms Kaja Ciglic, Senior Director, Digital Peace
• European Security and Defence College (ESDC) – Ms Agnieszka Wierzbicka
• Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) – Dr Robert S. Dewar
• CyberPeace Institute – Mr Stéphane Duguin, CEO
16:30 – 17:00 Discussion
Event link: https://zoom.us/j/98920796404?pwd=UHBhS2hTMGxueVVWVHA1SitLa0l1Zz09
Meeting ID: 989 2079 6404