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"Today, even small businesses have to face truly global problems": EU Trust in the Digital World summit opens in Vienna

ITProPortal is in Vienna for the Trust in the Digital World conference, being held in the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce. The conference focuses on the major themes of cyber security, and comprises a variety of presentations, panel discussions and clustering workshops covering the key challenges and strategies available to effectively manage employee, citizen and corporate trust.

How can we secure the smart cities of the future? How can we develop e-payment solutions that aren't vulnerable to cyber criminals? How can we build trust in the cloud?

Well, that's what we're here to find out.

David Goodman, Chairman of EU non-profit organisation EEMA, one of the co-organisers of the event, said "Here in Vienna, they have a saying: 'Wien ist anders', which roughly translates as 'Vienna is something else'. We hope that this conference will also be something else."

"We are in a fantastic position to influence policy, both local, national and even European," Goodman said.

Then he handed proceedings on to Amardeo Sarma of NEC Laboratories Europe, who also act as the chairman of Trust in Digital Life (TDL), the second co-organiser of the event.

"Enabling the economics of trust"

"The theme of this conference is enabling the economics of trust," Sarma said. "On the one hand we've seen that there have been a lot of disturbances, with people upset in the general population - but that's died down somewhat. But now companies and enterprises are seeing a real threat. They're asking how they can keep their data secret, how they can make sure their businesses are secure.

"First of all, we need more data protection, but we need also more cooperation to act across Europe. We have an opportunity to act in Europe so that we have the highest levels of data protection [in the world], and we can place ourselves right at the centre of this new movement."

So how are we going to enable more trustworthy services across Europe?

"New attacker models"

"That's what we're going to be discussing over the next few days," Sarma said. "We need to look at the new threats, the new attacker models, and find out what we have to do going into the future."

Next we moved onto the government representatives.

Professor Hans-Jürgen Pollirer, chairman of the Information and Consulting Division in the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce, where the event is taking place, spoke in depth about how a technology infrastructure is crucial for our future knowledge-based society, and how the secure transfer of data has become a prerequisite for the economic success of companies of all tasks.

"Our task is to allow them to operate in a highly digitised economy," Pollirer said. "This has become crucial. It is my pleasure and honour to help this goal."

"a highly digitised economy"

Then Zoran Stancic, deputy director-general of DG CONNECT from the European Commission said that "We have already put down 80 million euros towards priority areas funding research into the future. We are trying to put cyber security and trust into a new perspective."

"On the mid-term level," Stancic said, "we went you [the delegates] to help us form policy in the EU. We want to push forward legislation that's stuck in the legislative pipeline. We also want to look back at what's been achieved so far as part of the EU 2020 strategy. Our objective is that the results of this public discussion will be an important input in the next round of EU legislation."

Finally, Martin Sprengseis, the COO of Austrian international company Bluesource, spoke about what trust means in the digital world.

"Trust is when you can give something to someone upfront, without receiving anything in return right away," he said.

"Today, even small businesses have to face truly global problems. We need to be likes the Swiss Army Knife - we need to operate in all kinds of legislations, with all kinds of regulations across borders."

The Trust in the Digital World conference runs from 7-8 April, and ITProPortal will be covering the ins and outs of what's being discussed here in the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.