PwC Cybersecurity & Privacy Days 2021


This year, the PwC Luxembourg Cybersecurity and Privacy Days focused on the theme of chaos. Topics covered at the event included business alignment, third party risk, complexity versus simplification, automation, data protection and data sovereignty.

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03/11/2021 |
  • Koen Maris and Fabian Eberle

    Koen Maris and Fabian Eberle

That's a wrap. Another successful edition of PwC’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Days ended on Thursday October 28, 2021, with the announcement of the winner of this year’s pitching competition: Keyless Technologies.  The annual event, which this year was a return-to-form with live events as well as digital, had over 400 attendees and was brimming with  great speakers that shared their expertise on cybersecurity and privacy matters.

The annual event, which once again was part of the Cybersecurity Week Luxembourg, took place across four days. It was great to see live events occurring again, including a workshop—“ Living a cybersecurity incident through the use of Virtual Reality technology”— that simulated a real cybersecurity crisis situation. A new, popular (and very practical addition) was the dedicated stand in conjunction with Streff where people could shred their old hard disk drive or mobile phone securely and safely. Those who did so went back home with what was left as a souvenir (see attached photo) and a very deep understanding of how corporate data should be destroyed.

There were distinguished speakers from all over the world, representing a rich panel of thought leaders, such as  Tine A. Larsen, Christina Lekati, Paul Oor, Mirko Ross, Andrea Garcia Beltran, Philip Zimmermann and Paul de Hert. They shared the stage with companies that engaged in a pitch competition and presented how their innovative solutions meet cybersecurity or privacy challenges.

Participants also had the opportunity to participate in business matchmaking, join interactive breakout sessions and take part in a networking forum with their peers and industry leaders.

After a completely virtual edition 2020, we were very happy to host a hybrid event this year and be able to again welcome the majority of the attendees at Crystal Park.

Koen Maris, Advisory Partner and Cyber Security Leader PwC Luxembourg, said:

“At the close of 2021’s PwC Cybersecurity and Privacy Days, I wish to extend a huge thank you to all of the participants including the speakers and the finalists in this pitching competition— Keyless our winner— as well as Cymptom, Decentriq, Hoxhunt and Nymiz for taking up the challenge. Also, for everyone who attended live or digitally, thank you for your participation. I truly hope to see you next year at Crystal Park. We really covered a good variety of topics in order to provide food for thought for the CISOs of the local market. The theme this year was a relevant one - focussing on chaos and  changing times. We are living in a world of constant change, and COVID has been a further catalyst, especially concerning data. There is a duality that we are all up against—that of the rising demand for digital information, which has become the lifeblood of the interconnected business ecosystem— and the rising need for companies to guard this  increasingly valuable asset from skilled threat actors. How businesses can navigate through this chaotic situation was at the very heart of this year's PwC Cybersecurity & Privacy Days 2021. We look forward to continuing this discussion and we hope to see you on one of our community calls and/or at next year's event.”

Highlights from the keynotes

Tine Larsen, Chair of CNPD (Commission nationale pour la protection des données), Consultant, “The CNPD takes a stand!”: “We are at war, we are in chaos and we need someone to look after it.”

Harm van den Brink, Innovation & Cyber security specialist, ElaadNL, “The need for cybersecurity in the electric mobility infrastructure”: “Nobody questions the need for cybersecurity in the industrial control automation systems as for power plants for example, but for charging stations, nobody really thinks about it yet. The amount of connected devices is increasing, thus cybersecurity should be a necessity. Cybersecurity by design, will mitigate risks in the long run.”

Christina Lekati, Social Engineering Trainer & Consultant, Cyber Risk GmbH, “Information security is up against weaponised psychology”: “Cybersecurity is not only a technical challenge, it is also a behavioral one. As long as managers and employees can provide access to systems and high-value information, they become targets and cybersecurity depends on them too.”

Paul Oor, Security and Data Protection Consultant, “CISO and DPO; noblesse oblige; adapt and join forces with the Business!”: “How to bring stability in the chaos? Observe, orientate, detect and act. You should not only create or empower a security department, but include security and data protection within all other departments of your company. Make security the DNA of your company.”

Andrea García Beltrán, UK & International Head of Cyber, RSA Insurance Ltd, “Supply chain in the context of the provision of cyber insurance cover”: “There is an urgent need for supply chain third-party risk for robust security and resilience.”

Mirko Ross, CEO & Founder, asvin, “Cybersecurity in the software supply chain - The adventure is just beginning”: “There is a misconception in the cybersecurity industry -  and a lot of vendors and your partners that support you with cybersecurity toolings are as well trapped in this -  that everything is the best and optimised, but overall, they are trapped in the same complexity of their products.”

Philip Zimmermann, Distinguished Engineer, Advanced Encryption Technology Europe B.V., “Why autocracies and encryption backdoors are dangerous”: “The context has changed, look around you now: liberal democracies are now collapsing everywhere into populist autocracies (...) and if autocraties inherit a surveillance infrastructure full of backdoors, they will be able to effectively suppress political opposition.” 

Paul de Hert, Full professor Vrije Universiteit Brussels & Associated Professor Tilburg University, “Why governments are not smart enough to develop smart cities”: “Is there a framework for technology? What about for smart? The basic human rights questions remain more than valid.”

Cybersecurity & Privacy Solution of the Year 2021 Award, the winner is… Keyless Technologies!

Keyless Technologies won the Cybersecurity & Privacy Solution of the Year 2021 Award. Keyless is pioneering privacy-first, biometric security solutions that enable companies to deploy seamless biometric authentication without compromising on user experience, compliance or security.  It’s privacy-first authentication and identity management solutions serve the full spectrum of workforce and consumer authentication use cases. Currently, Keyless has two products for commercial use, the Keyless Authenticator™, and the Keyless SDK™.

The jury was composed of Roman Borisovich, Executive Director of Sardina Systems S.à.r.l, Krystina Gray, Vice-president of Women Cyber Force and Women4Cyber Luxembourg Chapter,  and Steffen Minkmar, Head of IT Security at the European Investment Bank.

A simulation of chaos: how well are you and your business secured against a cyber attack?

Picture this: you and your company are being attacked. From one second to another, every control that you had over your company, your processes, your data, as well as your clients data, is gone. Months of work is lost and irretrievable. In the aftermath of the incident you not only lose a lot of money to reinstall your daily business processes, you also risk losing your clients’ trust, your reputation and your company’s credibility.

Now, how would you react during such a cyber attack? And would your leadership team, including the CEO, CFO and CISO, share the same opinion on how to fight the threat? Would everyone be aware of the so-called “Golden rules of cyber security”?

In a workshop using Virtual Reality technology, we offered the participants the opportunity to live through the simulation of such an incident to underline the importance of installing security protocols. This valuable training represented another highlight of this year’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Days and was well received by the participants.

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