Global Cybersecurity Forum Charts A Path Forward For International Cyber Resilience

Global Cybersecurity Forum Charts A Path Forward For International Cyber Resilience

• A new global cybersecurity Center of Excellence was established by GCF in partnership with Aramco, and in collaboration with Honeywell, NEOM, SABIC, Schneider Electric and SITE
• GCF hosted the launch of DQ Institute’s 2023 Child Online Safety Index, which showed nearly 70% of children and adolescents were exposed to at least one cyber risk in the past year
• Knowledge Communities, formed under GCF, held their inaugural meetings over the two days

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2 November 2023 – The 2023 edition of the Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF) has concluded, with the announcement of a new international Operational Technology Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, establishment of Knowledge Communities and the launch of the 2023 Annual Child Online Safety Index by the DQ Institute.

Framed by the theme ‘Charting Shared Priorities in Cyberspace’, the two-day event covered diverse issues ranging from enhancing global supply chain resilience, to cyber psychology, and child protection in Cyberspace. The Forum concluded with five shared priorities, representing areas of urgent and long-term strategic importance in Cyberspace:

• Advancing the cyber resilience of key sectors
• Empowering a safe, sustainable, and inclusive Cyberspace
• Disincentivizing cybercrime
• Harnessing cyberspace as an engine for growth
• Safeguarding Cyberspace in the era of emerging technologies

These priorities will inform global collective action to create a safer and more resilient Cyberspace for all.

José Manuel Barroso, Former President of the European Commission and Former Prime Minister of Portugal spoke at the Forum, noting the importance of international venues such as GCF: “I believe we need places that can offer a platform for cooperation…that can be developed so global conversation and action can take place.”

Renowned cyberpsychologist Dr. Mary Aiken, who was interviewed by CNN anchor Richard Quest in a fireside chat at GCF, praised the Forum saying: “It’s one of the few conferences that puts an explicit focus on Cyberspace.”

International speakers included:
• Kersti Kaljulaid, Former President of the Republic of Estonia
• Shyam Saran, Former Foreign Secretary of India
• Felix A. Barrio Juárez, Director General of INCIBE, Spain
• Ir. Dr. Megat Zuhairy bin Megat, Chief Executive of NACSA, Malaysia
• Joy Chik, President of Identity and Network Access at Microsoft
• Iain Drennan, Executive Director of WeProtect Global Alliance

Operational Technology Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (Center)
The strategic intent of the Center, enabled by GCF, is to provide a global platform for extending the boundaries of shared knowledge and facilitating multi-stakeholder collaboration to advance shared interests in OT cybersecurity. The Center’s work will focus on the highest priority shared areas of need across the global OT landscape:

• Capability Development: Enabling individuals, organizations, and nations to enhance knowledge, improve existing skills, and develop competencies to meet current and future talent requirements of the OT cybersecurity ecosystem;
• Standards and Policy Advocacy: Establishing and promoting consistent and widely accepted practices, specifications, or protocols and advocating for specific policies or regulations to influence and shape government decisions in the space of OT cybersecurity;
• Research and Innovation: Exploring and developing new ideas, methods, products, or processes that advance knowledge and lead to meaningful improvements in OT cybersecurity;
• Thought Leadership Generation: Providing authoritative and innovative sources of ideas, insights, and expertise in OT cybersecurity, influencing and guiding others with valuable perspectives and knowledge.

The Center will represent and serve the shared interests of a diverse range of companies, sectors, and countries in the OTC ecosystem. It has been formally established under GCF, with Aramco as a founding partner, in collaboration with the following partners: Honeywell, NEOM, SABIC, Schneider Electric and SITE. Additional members will join from across government, private sector operators and providers, academia and think tanks.

Child Online Safety Index (COSI), DQ Institute
Today, the DQ Institute released its 2023 Child Online Safety Index (COSI), a national-level metric designed to assist countries in effectively monitoring the status of children’s online safety. The Index has found that, once again, a high percentage – nearly 70% – of children and adolescents aged 8-18 worldwide have experienced at least one cyber-risk in the past year. This alarming statistic has remained virtually unchanged since the Index began in 2018, a situation DQ Institute has dubbed a ‘persistent cyber-pandemic’.

Dr. Yuhyun Park, founder of the DQ Institute, said: “We have witnessed seven years of consistently high, 70% cyber-risk exposure rates among 8-18-year-old children and youth. We now refer to this phenomenon as a ‘persistent cyber-pandemic.’ Today, with the fast deployment of generative AI, the metaverse, and XR-like (Extended Reality) pervasive devices, digital technology is changing children’s lives even more, yet there is minimal discussion regarding their potential harmful effects. Global coordinated action, akin to addressing climate challenges, is imperative, and we can no longer delay.”

Knowledge Communities
This year, GCF also announced the formation of the Knowledge Communities. The first four Communities brought together the diverse perspectives and cross-sector expertise from over 65 international partners:

• Securing Industrial Systems for Global Energy Supply, led by Founding Member Aramco;
• Securing the Future of Urban Living, led by Founding Member NEOM;
• Future of Cybersecurity, led by Founding Member SITE;
• Safeguarding the Future Networks and Emerging Technologies, led by Founding Member stc.

GCF will continue to champion the progress of a more inclusive and secure Cyberspace, with further activity and announcements in 2024.

Notes to Editors
For more information, please contact [email protected]
To learn more about the COSI visit:

About Global Cybersecurity Forum
The Global Cybersecurity Forum is an annual event held in Riyadh. Since 2020, GCF has established itself as a prime venue where international experts and decision-makers meet to discuss how Cyberspace can protect the most vulnerable, while maximizing its benefits for everyone. The Forum is founded by Saudi Arabia’s National Cybersecurity Authority.

For updates, follow GCF on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram: @gcfriyadh or visit:

-GCF Media Team / DG

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