IGF 2021 WS #205
Emerging Technology and Cybersecurity Risks

Organizer 1: Elizabeth Orembo, Kenya ICT Action Network

Speaker 1: Louise Axon, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Kerry-Ann Barrett, Intergovernmental Organization, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Nagyfejeo Eva, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Nthabiseng Pule, Civil Society, African Group


Louise Axon, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Elizabeth Orembo, Civil Society, African Group


Nagyfejeo Eva, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Debate - Auditorium - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

Cybersecurity practices and mechanisms: What are the good cybersecurity practices and international mechanisms that already exist? Where do those mechanisms fall short and what can be done to strengthen the security and to reinforce the trust?
International rules and state accountability: How should international rules be strengthened to protect national sovereignty and citizens against attack by malicious state and non-state actors? What can be done to better hold nation-states accountable for cyber-attacks?
Additional Policy Questions Information: 1. How can we maintain the safeguards that are in place in the wake of new and emerging technologies?
2. What policy approaches can adopt to these new risks that come with emerging technologies?

Emerging technologies such as quantum computing, Artificial intelligence and Internet of things are creating so many possibilities that were never imagined before. However, they also undo the security safeguards that are put in place by rendering them obsolete. These new possibilities also create grey areas around ethics that have not been explored before.

The workshop seeks to explore policy options that address these risks both at individual and enterprise level. It will also focus on the effectiveness of the approach of global technology councils that emerged to manage AI on other emerging technologies.


Targets: The proposal links with SDG 17.8 on the usage of enabling technologies especially with regard to ICTs. Without security safeguards on the emerging technologies would mean there is not trust that is needed for their adoption. On SDG 9.1, the workshop directly links on the need to have secure, stable and resilient infrastructure that can be used by all by discussing approaches through which new security safeguards(both technological and ethical) will be put in place with the innovation and deployment of emerging technologies.


The nature of the digital systems that we are creating today represents a significant evolution away from the technology of the past. The rapid expansion of the Internet-of-Things (and advancement towards ubiquitous connectivity), as well as the emergence of technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and next-generation digital identity management systems, are altering cybersecurity risk. Multiple sources of systemic risk are being created which may mean that over the next few years, supply-chains and sectors will begin to experience risk propagation at levels not previously witnessed. The scale, speed and complexity of the emerging ecosystem will overwhelm current cybersecurity approaches.

In this session, we will explore the implications of emerging risks for cybersecurity policy. Our proposed speakers will explore how emerging technologies will alter cybersecurity risk, and how policy approaches will need to adapt to address this risk. This includes, for example, how to support the development of mechanisms that enable cybersecurity attestation between companies and along supply chains, and how to incentivise the right cybersecurity behaviours from actors in an increasingly interdependent and complex digital environment.

The proposed session will also encourage speakers and participants to think critically about the barriers to achieving the necessary policy landscape, the possible approaches to developing what is required, and the stakeholders who should be involved.

Expected Outcomes

The outcome of the session will be a light document outlining key policy recommendations to address the cybersecurity risk from emerging technologies, and documenting the contributions of speakers and participants on approaches to achieving what is required, possible barriers, and stakeholders who should be involved.

There will be prior workshop preparation meetings so that the speakers understand the workshop program and how to manage the remote participation tools. Prior testing of equipment will also be done.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.