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“Cybersecurity should be a public good”

Cyber threats and cybersecurity have been in focus more than ever lately, intensified by the war in Ukraine. European experts are coming to Stockholm University to discuss this urgent matter.

Portrait photo of Oliver Popov, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV).
Oliver Popov. Photo: Åse Karlén.

Professor Oliver Popov is looking forward to seeing his colleagues from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Poland and Ukraine. They are on their way to Sweden to participate in a three-day project meeting hosted by the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.

“Just two weeks ago, we published a book from the NATO SPS Advanced Research Workshop that took place in October 2021. This is a complementary and synergetic effort to the CyberEDU project, funded by the Swedish Institute. It has, among other things, a special programme for the development of the Baltic Sea Region and the Eastern Partnership countries”, says Oliver Popov who is the project lead.

“The project was supposed to last for 18 months, but it was extended to 24 months due to the situation in Ukraine”, he continues.

At the meeting, the researchers will discuss their accomplishments so far. They will also set the structure of the final report that is due in January 2023 – and talk about the way forward.

“The third day will be devoted to the conditions in Ukraine. The National Aerospace University in Kharkov is a partner in this project. Our colleagues there sometimes had to leave our regular on-line project coordination meetings because of the intensive shelling of their facilities.”

It’s crucial to invest in safety and security

Results from the project show a huge and growing interest in cybersecurity issues, both from the industry and the academic world. Thus, there is also a need to develop more cybersecurity programs in higher education.

“Cybersecurity is expensive, and for a long time it was considered an overhead cost. Now, more and more people see that it’s crucial to invest in safety and security. In the book, we call it a ‘meta-discipline’. Cybersecurity is relevant for so many scientific areas, from law to tech, human rights and even the safety of children”.

“I fought for the development of internet as a public good back in the days. I feel the same way about cybersecurity: It should be a public good, just like parks or forests. I am aware that it sounds somewhat idealistic and naive, but I think it’s an inspiring goal to strive for”, says Oliver Popov.


More information

Seven research institutions in five countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Poland, Sweden and Ukraine) participate in the CyberEDU project.

They get together for a project meeting on December 14–16, 2022 at the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV), Stockholm University.

The book “Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Protection via Reflection of Industrial Control Systems” presents 28 papers from the Advanced Research Workshop in October 2021, in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was published by IOS Press in November 2022, as volume 62 in the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series.

Read about the book

Contact information for Oliver Popov