The background of the event’s birth

After 6 consecutive years of success of Central-European public-private dialogue platform (Aka “Cybersecurity-Dialogues Romania“), awarded “best practice example for the European continent” by the ITU, together with its free awareness quarterly  journal “Cybersecurity Trends” (now published in 3 countries and 3 different versions: RO, UK, IT), we will organize this year the 7th edition of Cybersecurity Dialogues in Sibiu, one of the major non-profit, non-technical, non-marketing PPP networking event in Eastern and Central Europe.

Swiss Webacademy (Sibiu, Romania)

The Swiss Webacademy (SWA) (legal name Swiss Web School) is a Professional Association NGO established in Romania since 2002, known before 2012 as “Romanian-Swiss Multimedia Institute“, when it was founded thanks to a huge investment of the Swiss Confederation and the Republic and Canton of Jura, in partnership with the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, Engineering faculty, Neuchâtel (HE-ARC Ingéniérie), joined later by other academic bodies. Its primary goal was to propose and adapt to the local market the courses made by the University, mainly delivering Swiss Academic & Romanian Ministry of Labor Diplomas on Web-programming, Web-design and Web-expert

Before and after Romania’s accession to the EU, the Swiss Webacademy managed with a 120% success rate 7 PHARE projects (in education) as well as 2 major POS-CC/ POSDRU projects (applicative research) for more than 1.2 million EUR from 2004 to 2010.

Since 16 years, all SWA professors are regularly assessed by the Swiss academic authorities and long-haul courses final exams are realized by Professors of the HE-ARC Ingéniérie.

Since 2011, a protocol linking SWA with the Sibiu State University allowed to multiply courses led by SWA professors in the frame of the regular curricula of the State University.

Since 2013, a protocol signed with the Institut Universitaire Technique of the Bourgogne-Franche Comté University led to a multiple-faced collaboration : each year, SWA professors teach web-marketing modules at Belfort wile from 5 to 8 French students in their final year of Master class make their 3-months international stage at SWA’s headquarters in Sibiu.

Since 2015, a contract twinned SWA with the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, Engineering and Management faculty, Yverdon (HEIG-VD). In this frame, SWA conceives and teaches in Switzerland cybersecurity basics courses integrated in the curriculum of the Bachelors aiming for a digital Marketing or Management university diploma.

Besides those long-haul courses, making its own researches and projects led the SWA to become a fully independent NGO delivering state-of-the art products (complex websites and databases), professional trainings on highly demanded software; since 2010, SWA is also leading international PPP activities.

International Cybersecurity PPP events, networking and publications

This is the specific case of Cybersecurity. In 2010 and 2011, on demand of the Romanian National Police and the Ministry of Justice, SWA led two forums and 2-days capacity building sessions for members of those Institutions, in collaboration with the Institute of Countering Economic Criminality (ILCE, Neuchâtel) with the constant support and aegis of the Swiss Embassy.

From those national projects, in 2013, the yearly Central-European Public-Private Dialogue Networking Platform “Cybersecurity – Romania” was born after a proposal made by the International Telecommunications Union (the UN agency in charge of the topic) (ITU). Since, SWA’s 2-days congress is one of the only two NGO-organized events in Europe to be supported and to benefit of the technical aid of the ITU.

Now at its 6th edition, the Sibiu-held congress held has, as permanent partners, the highest Romanian Institutions concerned, i.e. the General Inspectorate of the Romanian National Police (General Inspectorate and Direction for Countering Organized Crime and Terrorism), The Cabernet Center of the Romanian Interior Intelligence Service, the CERT-RO as well as the National Telco Regulator, the ANCOM together with regular speakers from Jandarmeria and Special Telecommunication Services. Among the prestigious International partners, we can quote the French National Gendarmerie, its Research Center (CREOGN), the French Institute of Higher Studies for National Defense (IHEDN), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Ministry of Economy of Geneva as well as the Geneva State Police, and the Global Cyber Security Center (Rome).

Since 2015, the congress, following an ITU’s wish, launched its quarterly free awareness journal, Cybersecurity Trends, dedicated to Romanian-speaking adults desiring to acquire in a clear and pleasant way basic knowledges on the main cybersecurity issues. The same year, the ITU awarded the congress and the journal the title “Best Practices Example for the European Continent“, making the journal the only one with a permanent section written by the ITU Cybersecurity Department.

The success continued, as the ITU as well as number of International partners asked SWA to adapt and multiply both the congress and the journal. Since January 2017, in addition to its Romanian edition, Cybersecurity Trends is published in Italian, English, French and German editions, each one being calibrated to the ecosystem they address to and made with some of the most prominent national specialized organizations in Italy, France, UK and Switzerland. In 2019, the Spanish and Portuguese version will see their birth, too.

Coming back to the focal point, the original Sibiu congress (better said Networking Dialogue Platform) is now part of a triptych where it constitutes the “Central European part”. Two other vital ecosystems for our continent are dealt yearly in Switzerland (Cybersecurity Western Europe) and in Italy (Cybersecurity-Mediterranean) with successful premières launched respectively in December 2017 at Porrentruy and May 2018 at Noto.

Cybersecurity Congress Romania, 9th edition Sibiu, September 20-22, 2023. “Securing this Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, Incomprehensible world. Working in a new digital world: emerging technologies, challenges and threats. Solutions for securing our future.”