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Fish or be phished: how global cyber hubs can work more closely together //09.09.20

Cyber risk exposures are amplifying as the rapid migration to digital technologies plays a critical role in mitigating the spread and impact of COVID-19. Cybercriminal networks have used the pandemic to reorient their strategies and primarily target large corporations, governments and critical infrastructure. Meanwhile, responses from key stakeholders across industries remain reactionary and inattentive of the borderless nature of cyber threats. As such, collaboration between cyber innovation hubs and their respective tech ecosystems is critical to secure our new era of digital dependency.

More innovation hubs have sprung up across the world as cities and states recognise the growing importance of investing in tech ecosystems to facilitate long-term economic growth. For example, cyber hubs such as the Global Cyber Center in New York City, LORCA in London, Israel’s Cyber Spark, and The Netherlands’ Hague Security Delta offer a prism of activities to engage their regional cybersecurity ecosystem. 

By bringing together governments, universities, multinational corporations, SMEs, investors, and startups, these hubs build synergies that accelerate collaboration, partnership, and the cross-pollination of ideas. Serving as a one-stop-shop for innovation, stakeholders can form partnerships with local startups, lead expert panels, host networking meetups, invest in talent development, and conduct corporate innovation activities.

Engagement from corporations in particular is instrumental in fostering needed cybersecurity innovation. Large organisations with buying power are able to discern what projects and solutions are relevant to the marketplace. They also tend to embrace cybersecurity and play a leadership role in driving cultural shifts in the business world.

Although cyber threats are borderless in nature, their impact is felt in different ways across ecosystems, creating unique sets of knowledge, experience, and expertise. Through international cooperation between cyber ecosystems, hubs no longer limit their collaboration and teamwork to geographies. Instead, they become on-site communities of interest. Let’s say a cyber company or startup wants to open an office abroad. Instead of the stakeholder conducting time-consuming research, soft landing pad programmes can provide guidance on services like IT or legal, financial, cultural, and practical issues related to doing business abroad. 

As demonstrated by the pandemic, digital communities have proved to be essential in engaging networks and facilitating business exchanges. From online webinars to leadership forums, our own company witnessed our network’s agility and the benefits of leveraging the digital domain. LORCA Live is a testament to the fact that online environments are invaluable assets to innovation hubs, allowing us to circumvent current travel restrictions and participate with our UK partners.

In an industry lacking globally-applied standards, creating closer ties between cyber ecosystems will help synchronise our understanding of cybersecurity and shorten prototyping and implementation cycles. Through information sharing and structured discussions, stakeholders gain a holistic view of emerging issues and trends, enabling them to advocate for causes and needed policies. Creating better-defined cybersecurity standards will spur stronger cyber resilience across industries, helping corporations make smarter decisions about how they choose to manage their cyber risks. 

Digital security requires an approach representative of our ever-growing interconnected reality. Cyber innovation hubs should embrace a globally oriented model focused on collaboration, partnerships, virtualisation and resource sharing. This approach will yield mutually beneficial advancements to address challenges such as the future of blockchain, fighting hackers or AI-driven exploits and supply chain security. Such a model not only enables widespread digital security but also accelerates productivity, drives economic growth, helps close the workforce gap and enables smarter decision-making.