Nicosia Risk Forum is an innovative event for the area of South-Eastern Europe, which brings together academic, industrial, governmental, policy, and other societal stakeholders with a significant interest in societal safety. Nicosia Risk Forum 2020 was organized under the auspices of HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Dr. Nikos Christodoulides. Understandably, due to Co-Vid19 restrictions, #NRF2020 took place virtually on the 26th of November 2020.
This year’s theme of #NRF2020 focused on “Regional Collaboration in Societal Safety”. The Covid-19 pandemic and its severe worldwide implications have proven once more that the inherent risks of our increasingly complex and interconnected world significantly challenge the implementation of fundamental societal functions. As disasters have always been and will always be part of our lives, the way societies respond to them is certainly of critical importance. However, preventing such disasters from occurring, preparing for their possible occurrence, and mitigating their potential effects, is a matter of life and death. In these testing times, higher-level initiatives faced challenges in delivering solutions. Regional initiatives can provide support, much needed, at times of crises. Traditional manmade and natural disasters will continue to occur, coupled with the risks brought-on by the pandemic; societal safety and national security become an absolute necessity and regional collaboration a supporting net.
Man-made and natural catastrophes know no borders and the aim of this year’s #NRF2020 is to be the catalyst for the creation of a regional network of governmental organizations, research groups, universities, and research organizations interested in promoting societal safety.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its severe worldwide implications have proven once more that the inherent risks of our increasingly complex and interconnected world significantly challenge the implementation of fundamental societal functions. As disasters have always been and will always be part of our lives, the way societies respond to them is certainly of critical importance. However, preventing such disasters from occurring, preparing for their possible occurrence, and mitigating their potential effects, is a matter of life and death.
The 2020 version of the Nicosia Risk Forum took a radical position, summarized in the following statement: “the next pandemic WILL happen, sooner or later”. It is therefore now the right time to analyze the lessons learned from the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, and use our experience to discuss the preparedness measures which should be implemented in order to mitigate risks and reduce the effects of the next pandemic. Furthermore, the Forum did not restricted this analysis and discussion to the case of Cyprus, but it assumed a Regional View, focusing on existing cooperation aspects and the need for the development of novel mechanisms that will facilitate the exchange of communication and good practices between the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
The Nicosia Risk Forum 2020 hosted an impressive array of stakeholders who offered their views on its main theme of the Forum.
First and foremost, we are honored to announce that Dr. Nikos Christodoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, will deliver the closing Keynote Speech of the Forum on the topic of “Regional Collaboration in Societal Safety“.
Other Speakers of great importance were:
- Ms Paraskevi Micho, Director General, DG ECHO
- Mr Nikos Hardalias, Deputy Minister of Crisis Management and Civil Protection, Hellenic Republic
- Dr Christos Dimas, Deputy Minister of Research and Development, Hellenic Republic
- Dr Nikolas Mastrogiannopoulos, Chief Scientist, Republic of Cyprus
- H.e. Mrs. Claude el Hajal, Ambassador, Lebanese Republic
- Brig. Gen. (res.) Yoram Laredo, Head of NEMA, State of Israel
- Brigadier Anwar Altarawaneh, Director of Civil Defense, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
- Mr Kyriacos Hadjigeorgiou, Interim Director Civil Defense Cyprus
RESISTO (RESIlience enhancement and risk control platform for communication infraSTructure Operators) http://www.asgard-project.eu (H2020-CIP-01-2016-2017, GA 78640). Communications play a fundamental role in the economic and social well-being of the citizens and on operations of most of the CIs. Thus they are a primary target for criminals having a multiplier effect on the power of attacks and providing enormous resonance and gains. Also extreme weather events and natural disasters represents a challenge due to their increase in frequency and intensity requiring smarter resilience of the Communication CIs, which are extremely vulnerable due to the ever-increasing complexity of the architecture also in light of the evolution towards 5G, the extensive use of programmable platforms and exponential growth of connected devices. The fact that most enterprises still manage physical and cyber security independently represents a further challenge.
RESISTO platform is an innovative solution for Communication CIs holistic situation awareness and enhanced resilience (aligned with ECSO objectives). Based on an Integrated Risk and Resilience analysis management and improvement process availing all resilience cycle phases (prepare, prevent, detect, absorb, etc.) and technical resilience capabilities (sense, model, infer, act, adopt), RESISTO implements an innovative Decision Support System to protect communication infrastructures from combined cyber-physical threats exploiting the Software Defined Security model on a suite of state of
the art cyber/physical security components (Blockchain, Machine Learning, IoT security, Airborne threat detection, holistic audio-video analytics) and services (Responsible Disclosure Framework) for detection and reaction in presence of attacks or natural disasters.
Through RESISTO Communications Operators, will be able to implement a set of mitigation actions and countermeasures that significantly reduce the impact of negative events in terms of performance losses, social consequences, and cascading effects in particular by bouncing efficiently back to original and forward to operational states of operation.
The agenda of the event can be found here.