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EU-HYBNET Innovation Standardisation Workshop #ISW

We are pleased to announce EU-HYBNET’s “Innovation Standardization Workshop” on 15th June 2022 at the Babylon Hotel, The Hague, NL.

The event is open to EU-HYBNET consortium partners. Registrations are now closed.

The Innovation Standardization Workshop (ISW) focuses on EU-HYBNET’s identified most promising technological and non-technological innovative solutions and tools to counter Hybrid Threats and their standardization landscape in two fields:

  • Countering disinformation and fake news, increasing the level of media literacy and social resilience.
  • Critical infrastructure protection and information sharing.

The ISW will start with a keynote speech on “Countering Russian Disinformation during the war against Ukraine” given by Maria Avdeeva, Research Director at the European Expert Association from Kharkiv, Ukraine. A second keynote speech will focus on “Innovation standardization landscape in the context of critical infrastructure protection and need for enhanced information sharing” provided by EU-Vri – Steinbeis European Risk & Resilience Institute.

Keynote speeches will be followed by parallel sessions for two working groups (WG) with the participation of expert speakers, invited guests and EU-HYBNET consortium and network members. The WGs are:

WG1. on “Standardization measures in the context of critical infrastructure protection and innovations to enhance information sharing”

This WG will focus on standardization experts and pan-European security practitioners’ views on present standards, needs and possibilities for standardization in the future noticing the challenges deriving form hybrid threats.

WG2. on “Standardisation and innovations in disinformation and media literacy”

This WG is dedicated on standardization best practices and innovative solutions answering security practitioners’ needs to counter information manipulation and interference, disinformation and media literacy.

In the context of Hybrid Threats and focus areas of the WGs, the WGs aim to formulate recommendations concerning standardization and present standards. The WGs’ goal is also to support EU-HYBNET’s most promising proposed innovations uptake for pan-European security practitioners to counter Hybrid Threats.

Please find below the full agenda.

Participants are encouraged to attend the event in-person and join the discussions in the Hague. The sessions will also be broadcasted online; however, discussions in the parallel sessions will only be held in-person.

The event is invitation based. However, if you are interested in joining ISW due to your expertise in the focus areas of the workshop, please contact event organizer EU-HYBNET partner Polish Platform for Homeland Security Mr. Bartłomiej Ostrowski at bartlomiej.ostrowski@ppbw.pl.

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EU-HYBNET 2nd Future Trends Workshop #FTW – Democracies on the edge?

The EU-HYBNET consortium will hold its second EU-HYBNET Future Trends Workshop, #FTW, on 5 of April 2022 in Rome and in hybrid format/telco. This workshop will address expected future manifestations of hybrid threats, and their evolving nature coupled with the different points of view that may be expressed as to how current innovations and solutions may or may not apply in tomorrow’s world.

The purpose of the workshop is to support the stakeholders’ everyday work by providing a future outlook for strategic planning and consider consequences of today’s policy choices in long-term.

The second EU-HYBNET Future Trends Workshop’s topic is “Democracies on the edge? Populism, Social networks, and international groups” including following topics:

* Trend 1 – Changing populism: what are the forms of populism? How will populism evolve and will it be a determining political movement in the future?

* Trend 2 – Instrumentalization of social networks: what are current social networks? How will the galaxy of social networks look like in the future? Will information virality models give and deepen social networks’ future harm potential at systemic levels?

* Trend 3 – Constitution of international groups: what narratives and topics unite and create movements transnationally? How this can be used as a tool by outside actors? Are these likely to grow into political force or are they more a disruption?

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EU-HYBNET 2nd Annual Workshop #AW

Mark your calendars, because you are cordially invited to the 2nd EU-HYBNET Annual Workshop that will be held on 06 April 2022!

The EU-HYBNET Pan European Network to Counter Hybrid Threats Annual Workshop aims at highlighting the results and findings of the EU-HYBNET project gained during the second project year.

As part of the event, EU-HYBNET is inviting organizations that work with security-related topics to present research and/or innovations which could contribute to countering hybrid threats. EU-HYBNET is interested to hearing about a wide array of issues such as:

* Technological innovations.

* Ideas in organizational change.

* Public policy measures and experiences.

* Solutions to increase security in and resilience of critical infrastructures, cyber domain, local and national government.

* Information and strategic communication systems.

Call for Innovations – Pitches

As part of the Annual Workshop, EU-HYBNET is inviting organizations and projects that work with security-related topics to present research and/or innovations which could contribute to countering hybrid threats. EU-HYBNET is interested in hearing about a wide array of issues such as technological and non-technological innovations and ideas in following areas: 

* Future trends in hybrid threats: detection of the weak signals and vulnerabilities to improve foresight capability in the areas of 

– critical infrastructures and supply chains; 

– resilience of the space domain;  

– public outreach and content accessibility 

* Cyber and Future Technologies: monitor sentiments among populations such as 

– interference practices during crisis; 

– detection of fake content online; 

– disruptive technologies 

* Resilient civilians and local admin: increase trust among government and people  

– training/education of practitioners/citizens;  

– cross-collaboration initiatives between public and private sector; 

– destabilization aspects of democratic governance 
  

* Information and strategic communication  

– communication techniques targeting specific groups;  

– methodologies for fighting against disinformation;  

– methodologies for reducing impact of disinformation 

Innovations related to hybrid threats but not linked to the topics abovementioned can also be submitted. For the technological solutions we encourage you to submit your application only if your solution has a TRL >7. 

If you are interested in presenting your solution or innovative idea during the 2nd EU-HYBNET Annual Workshop, please fill out the template which you can download here. Each presentation will last a maximum of 10 minutes. Once we have received all inputs, EU-HYBNET will select the 6 most promising innovation to be presented during the workshop. 

Kindly send your innovation by 11 March 2022 COB to the event organizers Rachele Brancaleoni and Monica Bernassola, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore: 

rachele.brancaleoni@policlinicogemelli.it and monica.bernassola@unicatt.it 

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EU-HYBNET participates in the ‘Responding to hybrid threats in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region’ Workshop

Come and meet us at the Workshop on ‘Responding to hybrid threats in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region’ Workshop. The event takes place online from 14th until 16th of December from 13.00 to 16.00 CET.

The purpose of the workshop is to contribute to the development of resilience against hybrid threats at a regional level within the member states and among its influencers and opinion formers. Hybrid threats erode the political cohesion of the alliance and its partners and are a part of the current EU, NATO, and the partner’s security landscape.
The primary objective is to examine a synchronization toolkit on resilience mechanisms between the EU, NATO, and regional authorities and to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy process from a central level down to regional levels among the target audience and to give guidelines in how to improve the process.

What we find today is that a state can reach the parts of another state’s triangle of war fighting capability much easier. It is simplified to say that it is about the Internet, but it is also true that the Internet facilitates a host of opportunities, good and bad when it comes to communicating with a population. Meddling in internal affairs disrupt the Western narrative of globalization, rule of law, democracy, and interconnectivity. Hybrid warfare as part of a wider information operation provides a problem partly by its content; partly by its due to attribution questions and the potential for deniability by the perpetrator.
Best practices analysis will fill knowledge gaps in addressing hybrid threats. The development of a resilience toolkit applicable at a regional level will lead towards a change of attitude vis-à-vis hybrid threats and to an improved EU-NATO- regional authorities synchronized effort in countering hybrid threats.

The wokshop is co-organised by EU-HYBNET partner Universidad Rey Juan Carlos along with Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Mid Sweden University and Ciberimaginario. The first day of the event (14th of December 2021), keynote speeches will be delivered to the audience. EU-HYBNET coordinator Päivi Mattila (Laurea) will present the project’s experience in building pan-European network to counter hybrid threats.

INCLUDING Workshop Athens

EU-HYBNET will take part in INCLUDING 2nd Annual Workshop on Nuclear Security in Maritime Infrastructure

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (EU-HYBNET Consortium) will present EU-HYBNET project during next INCLUDING Workshop on Nuclear Security in Maritime Infrastructure.

The 2nd INCLUDING Workshop is devoted to Nuclear Security issues and with a focus on maritime infrastructure. Following the two days exercise at Piraeus Port Container Terminal, the Workshop will put under the magnifying lens open issues in prevention, detection and response to Nuclear Security scenarios and primarily in designated points of entry like ports.

The Workshop scope includes:

  1. Strategic issues and the international legal framework
  2. Operational capabilities and innovation
  3. Cooperation between EU and international activities

The Workshop is upon invitation and open to practitioners, innovators, suppliers and academia with a role and interest in the subject.
Location: Joint CBRN Coy premises, Chaidari, Athens, Greece

The Workshop is organised in physical presence. Due to the particular situation with pandemic, the event will be livestreamed to interested stakeholders.
If you are interested in following the INCLUDING 2nd Annual Workshop livestream, please contact the organizers for having the access using the following LINK.

CERIS Scenario-based innovation workshop - Save the Date

CERIS Scenario-based innovation workshop

Enhancing Infrastructure Resilience against Hybrid Threats

EU-HYBNET scenarios will be discussed during next DG HOME INFRA CERIS workshop!

This DG HOME CERIS workshop will focus on the European critical infrastructure protection highlighting present policy developments in the field. Topical elements, such as the hybrid conceptual model and key factors in countering hybrid threats, will also be presented.

In the first part of the Workshop, special attention will be given to the policy initiatives, especially the Critical Entities Resilience (CER)  and the revised Network and Information Systems (NIS2)  Directives, as they will pave the way for Europe to enhance measures to critical infrastructure protection.

New types of security concerns, such as hybrid threats in the context of critical infrastructure protection, will be highlighted in the second part of the workshop. The challenges of hybrid attacks to critical infrastructure will be presented using a large-scale cyber-attack scenario that includes three critical infrastructure fields (water security, communication systems, financial services) under attack.

Complexity related to interconnected physical-digital European infrastructures will be especially highlighted in the scenarios. The participants will be challenged to acknowledge how to increase security, resilience, and design effective preventive, mitigating and preparedness-related measures to protect against and to respond to cascading effects and hybrid attacks.

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EU-HYBNET partners co-edit ICONO 14 journal issue on “Digital Communication and Hybrid Threats”

Hanna Smith, Hybrid CoE’s Director of Research and Analysis, and Ruben Arcos, lecturer and researcher of communication sciences at Rey Juan Carlos University co-edited vol. 19 no 1. (2021) issue of the ICONO 14 journal: “Digital Communication and Hybrid Threats”. The special issue supported the EU-HYBNET project’s research component. Among the contributions were submissions from ICDS (Estonia), University of Tromsö (Norway) and National Institute for Intelligence Studies (Romania) – all EU-HYBNET partners. The special issue aims to address hybrid threats from a digital communication perspective, understanding the strengths and the vulnerabilities to hybrid threats of our digital ecosystems and societies, the processes, methods, and tools by which they can be exploited in coordinated campaigns and activities, and how to counter malicious strategic communications and influence.

Malicious information activities by state, non-state and state-backed actors are an essential part of hybrid threats and operations. Political warfare, proactive measures and covert action are not new, but ICTs and digital communication tools and channels offer unprecedented opportunities for coordinated hostile activities that exploit the vulnerabilities of our democratic societies for different purposes.

Cyberspace is recognized as a domain of operations in which digital communication channels can be exploited in campaigns directed against individuals, institutions and societies through information and influence in decision-making. While the content of the communication of symbolic interactions on social media platforms has varying degrees of visibility, coordinated inauthentic behaviors and the use of cyberproxies challenge detection and attribution. The militarization of information by hybrid threat actors can take multiple forms and raises the question of how to prevent, counter and respond to it without undermining the democratic rights and freedoms of our societies.

This special issue of ICONO 14 aims to address hybrid threats from a digital communication perspective, understanding the strengths and vulnerabilities to hybrid threats of our digital ecosystems and societies, the processes, methods and instruments by which they can be exploited in campaigns and coordinated activities, and how to counter malicious strategic influences and communications.

Landscape

Hybrid CoE and the European Commission published the Landscape of Hybrid Threats

The events of 2020 have reminded us to always be prepared for the unthinkable, and that, in times of crisis, science and robust evidence must be at the heart of the decisions we take to protect citizens’ lives and livelihoods.

The Landscape of Hybrid Threats
Foreword by Commissioner Mariya Gabriel

The European Commission, by means of its Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC) and the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE) in Helsinki have joined forces to develop a conceptual model for characterizing Hybrid Threats accompanied by a framework for analysis.
The proposed conceptual model’s analytical framework is developed around four main pillars:

  • Actors (and their strategic objectives)
  • Domains
  • Tools
  • Phases.

This structure enables us to grasp the time variable of Hybrid Threats and identify the way in which an actor can employ a series of tools to affect the targeted country in order to achieve a series of objectives.

The proposed framework is not the mere listing of the above-mentioned pillars, but aims at identifying the links between them as well as providing a flexible framework, a blueprint, that can be adapted to the needs of each EU and NATO member state.

The proposed conceptual model’s analytical framework is validated against a number of real case studies in order to assess its validity and its analytical value. Although it would be convenient to establish the analytical framework on the basis of past experience, we refrained from doing so in order to deliver a concept for Hybrid Threats and analytical framework that is future-proof, handles the test of time and that describes the concept of Hybrid Threats against the background of current security environment dynamics, while taking into consideration the evolving nature of the threat.

In particular, the conceptual model puts much emphasis on actors. It aims at understanding their drivers by studying their motives, doctrines, open source intelligence and literature, which duly provide pieces of evidence for their objectives and strategic culture. A deep understanding of actors’ objectives is an excellent proxy for forecasting possible future activities. The conceptual model focuses on state and non-state actors and the case studies demonstrate the diversified nature of their activities and modii operandi.

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Call for Ideas: Become a speaker at EU-HYBNET Annual Workshop!

Mark your calendars, because you are cordially invited to the 1st EU-HYBNET Annual Workshop that will be held on 13 April 2021! The EU-HYBNET Pan European Network to Counter Hybrid Threats Annual Workshop aims at highlighting the results and findings of the EU-HYBNET project gained during the first project year.

As part of the event, EU-HYBENT is inviting organizations that work with security-related topics to present research and/or innovations which could contribute to countering hybrid threats.  

EU-HYBNET is interested to hearing about a wide array of issues such as:

  • Technological innovations.
  • Ideas in organizational change.
  • Public policy measures and experiences.
  • Solutions to increase security in and resilience of critical infrastructures, cyber domain, local and national government.
  • Information and strategic communication systems.

If you are interested in presenting your solution or innovative idea during the 1st EU-HYBNET Annual Workshop, please fill out the accompanied template.

Each presentation will last a maximum of 10 minutes. Once we have received all inputs, EU-HYBNET will select 4-6 ideas to be presented during the workshop.

Kindly send your ideas by 26 February 2021 COB to Emma Lappalainen, Hybrid CoE: emma.lappalainen@hybridcoe.fi

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Evolution of Hybrid Conflicts

Hybrid threats are one of the main security challenges Western democracies currently struggle with. Hybrid threats are in the news, mostly framed or wrapped in specific ‘hybrid’ phenomena like disinformation, foreign meddling in elections and cyber hacks. Countering these threats remains a demanding task as they evolve due to technological advances and new ways of hybrid campaigning.

It is for this reason that, Drs. W.R.F. Meessen (TNO), Drs. F.F. Bekkers (HCSS), B. Torossian, MSC (HCSS) have written an article that collects some of the most relevant trends and developments that shape hybrid threats, now and in the years to come, and that pose huge challenges for countering these threats.