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Izabela HawrylkoNov 29, 2023 11:27:10 AM2 min read

3 Learnings from the Industrial Cybersecurity Conference in Copenhagen

As Head of Partnerships and Channel Strategy at Omny, Izabela Hawrylko finds herself at the crossroads of technology and relationship building. She spends her days talking to partners and customers to explore joint interests and find ways that Omny can help them create value. 

“Cybersecurity on the IT side is quite mature, with strong awareness. While on the other hand, cybersecurity on the operational technology (OT) side is getting better, but still lacking. This is what we need to fix, as protecting these assets is mission critical in many cases,” says Hawrylko

Hawrylko recently attended the Industrial Security Conference in Copenhagen (Nov. 2023), where experts from across the security and industrial world gathered to learn, share, and elevate knowledge related to protecting infrastructure and assets from the increasing threat of cyber-attacks. There were three key themes that stood out for Izabela over the course of the two-day event – themes that seemed to be top of mind for the global participants.


Topic 1: The EU’s newest Network and Information Security Directive – a.k.a. “NIS2”

By far the most “talked about” topic at the event, according to Izabela, NIS2 was put under the lens and experts were on hand to impart advice. “A former regulator was present, and he compared the current NIS2 situation to the process we went through with GDPR. We all know that something important is coming, and industrial players are now scrambling to figure out what it means and get resources to support it. But not everyone is fully committed just yet,” Izabela says. NIS2 is just a baseline, she adds, that each European nation will adopt and build from – customizing the directive to suit their domestic needs. This presents new challenges to organizations operating across the continent, as they will have to comply with the varying requirements in each country.


Topic 2: Power grid operators are ramping up security focus 

Much of the conversations around industrial cybersecurity were focused on power grids, says Izabela, and how they are coping with rising cyber threat levels. “As our energy resources become more distributed, with multiple sources feeding electricity to the grid, this also means that our attack surface becomes much bigger,” explains Izabela. “And an attack on our grid can have cascading effects that can cripple society. This makes protecting our grids a top priority.”


Topic 3: The ‘walkie talkie’ security threat 

Police, military, and operators of critical infrastructure are typical users of a technology called “Terrestrial Trunked Radio Standard”, used in devices such as walkie talkies, or two way radios. It’s an older technology and as such, contains several security vulnerabilities. “This was an alarming topic, as we see that this technology can be easily exploited due to its outdated encryption standards. This means that threat actors could potentially send police to a fake location or intercept railway communication, for example,” says Izabela. It was a wake-up call, she adds, and much more focus is needed to raise security standards and protect some of the most critical parts of society.

Omny attends many events like these to stay on top of what is happening with cybersecurity in operational technology. Protecting industrial organizations is an ever-changing landscape. To keep up with where we will be next, join our newsletter and keep an eye on our events page to make sure you are not missing out. 

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Izabela Hawrylko

Izabela Hawrylko is a Head of Partnership and Channel Sales at Omny. In her role, she is responsible for building Omny's partner ecosystem of commercial and product partners; creating unique strategies for each successful collaboration. Prior to her position at Omny, Hawrylko worked in partner development and sales positions for companies Cognite and Microsoft.