2020 was a year marked by a global pandemic, it was a year like no other.
People were in lockdown, were working from home, businesses and shops were closed or had to adapt their way of doing business, children, teachers and parents had to turn to homeschooling, healthcare providers had to rely on the Internet to share patient data or even to provide healthcare services through telemedicine.
2020 was also the year in which the importance of technology and more in particular the Internet became apparent. It has been and still is key to keep people socially connected, for companies to stay in business, for people to work from home and for kids to continue their education.
There was a big concern that the Internet would ‘break’. But we have seen that the globally connected, decentralized and open infrastructure of this global network of networks was ready for the challenge.
Now, this also came with challenges. We saw many companies not or ill-equipped to securely manage their teams remotely, we faced many security challenges.
The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity has highlighted 15 threats in their Threat Landscape 2020 report.
At the Internet Society one of our focus areas is end to end encryption which plays a vital role in increasing the overall trust in the Internet and a critical enabler for privacy and security online. And we have seen mounting threats to encryption in Europe and beyond.
2020 was also a year marked by an increased focus on Diversity and Inclusion.
The digital gap globally became more apparent and critical, nearly half of the world’s population is still unconnected. Teachers have said they ‘lost’ students during lockdown as not everyone is online (or can afford to be online). As past Chair of the global Equals partnership we have seen in the 2019 report on Gender Equality in Digital Access, Skills and Leadership that we still have a long way to go.
We have many talented women in cybersecurity, but we want and need more. We need to shine the light on women in cyber, we need to build more capacity and encourage young women to pursue a career in cyber, and we need to create a strong network of women (and men) who can tackle the security challenges that we are facing.
This is why I am very humbled and excited to be part of a group of amazing women in cybersecurity launching WomenCyberForce in Luxembourg to reduce the gender gap in cyber and to encourage more women to join this critically important industry.
The association will be active in Luxembourg but as a Chapter of the Women4Cyber Foundation, we will be able to connect, engage and collaborate across Europe.
It is only by working together that we will be able to ensure that the technology that keeps us all together personally and professionally remains the secure lifeline that it has shown us it can be.
Don’t wait to be part of this movement! Join now!