Outcome of ESA’s 2nd International Security Symposium

22 March 2012

The Agency’s Security Office held the second ESA International Security Symposium at ESRIN on 7–8 March under the theme ‘Facing the Threats to Values and Knowledge of International Organisations’, welcoming around 200 experts in the field of security in national and international organisations.

While the first symposium’s goal was to “share information about the respective security approaches, challenges, and future evolution that organisations are facing in the current geopolitical situation”, this second event was a unique opportunity to address security issues among public and private international and national organisations about protecting their values and knowledge.

The quality of the panel speakers was one of the many factors that made the Symposium a success. Keynote speakers representing organisations such as NATO, the Council of Europe, OECD, Europol, UNICRI, CERN, MELANI, national security authorities of ESA Member States, UNICREDIT and ESA addressed important security issues they are facing and the manner in which the subjects are dealt with in each of these organisations.

Giuseppe Morsillo (ESA Director of Policies, Planning and Control; Head of the ESA Security Office)

The following issues stood out among those discussed:

  • The role of security in today’s society and how it has evolved;
  • The primary role of information as a resource for the healthy and appropriate functioning of any public and private organisation;
  • The growing importance of the Internet as a vehicle for social interaction at private, public and business levels, especially considering the prevalence of digital information;
  • The need to have a holistic approach – a unitary and modern vision –towards security within the organisations reflecting their business process;
  • The growing concern that few organisations have evaluated and prioritised their needs in relation to their core business, planning and implementing a holistic strategy to reduce their security risks;
  • The lingering perception that communication and information systems are part of the logistical function of businesses; it may be part of the overall security vision but if it is not included in the holistic approach, security will not be provided;
  • The idea that ‘your organisation is as secure as your weakest link’ and through it the important role that education and awareness play, in particular since 80% of incidents are caused by wrong, irresponsible or ill-considered behaviour.
Participants

In parallel to the panels, 16 companies in the Exhibition Hall displayed their products and solutions to the problems debated in the panels.

Between panels, universities and industry provided demonstrations on different issues such as research on advanced evasion techniques, attacks and reaction against vulnerabilities of satellites networks.

Participants in the Symposium greatly appreciated this unique platform and strongly supported its continuation by agreeing to a new co-organised event.

Contact:

Anna Maria Balsano,
Personnel Security and Outreach Officer,
ESA Security Office
Phone :+39 06941 80456/80881/80885
email: Security.Office@esa.int

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