‘Covid-19 and the road to global cyber norms: The case of banning cyber operations against public health infrastructures’ at 3rd European-Australian Cybersecurity Dialogue


The annual KAS Australia-Europe 1.5 track Cybersecurity Dialogue, this year already in its third iteration, aims to bring together senior government representatives, policymakers, academic experts, practitioners and members of the diplomatic corps to share their views, develop better understandings and explore how cooperation could be strengthened. This year’s dialogue will have to take place in a slightly altered virtual format – the overarching theme of ‘Cybersecurity in Crisis Times- A Way Forward for Europe and Australia’ will be addressed through separate virtual discussion sessions with speakers and participants from Europe and Australia, via Webex.


Alexandra Paulus is chairing the session on the impact of Covid-19 on the road to global cyber norms, focusing on banning cyber operations against public health infrastructures. Speakers are Bart Hogeveen, Head of Cyber Capacity Building at the International Cyber Policy Centre at Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Johanna Weaver, Head of Australian delegation to UN Open-ended Working Group on cyber norms, Lukasz Olejnik, independent researcher and advisor, and Wolfram von Heynitz, Head of the Cyber Policy Coordination Staff at the German Federal Foreign Office.


Detailed Session Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has widened the attack surface for cyber operations. Following multiple cyber operations targeting public health infrastructures, various groups of states and non-state actors condemned such attacks and even advanced concrete proposals for establishing a norm banning cyber operations against public health infrastructures. This case study raises interesting questions and implications regarding the process of establishing global cyber norms at the United Nations and beyond.  For example, what steps would be necessary to make such a norm sufficiently robust? How is this relevant for European-Australian cooperation in this matter? Input speakers and participants will talk through different normative frameworks that can serve as reference points as well as different ways of designing a norm to protect the health sector. This will shed some light on the current views on the European and Australian relationship and creates the opportunity to gather some perspectives from EU diplomats, some key member states and Australia, as well as academic insights on the topic.


A session report will be provided publicly.

20.08.2020 - 09:00 bis 10:30