Poland stands a chance to become a global leader in the cybersecurity sector. Our potential is proven by the increasing value of the local ICT market, which in 2016 was worth USD 8.5 billion. Every year 30 thousand students graduate in IT from Polish universities. “We should start treating cybersecurity mostly as an investment, not as a cost,” stressed the Kościuszko Institute in its latest report: “Security through innovations. The cybersecurity sector as a driving force of economic growth”.
According to the report’s authors, the sector of cybersecurity products and services may become a strong pillar of the Polish economy and, similarly to what is happening in other countries, reinforce the security of the country and its industry. The data quoted in the publication shows that currently the value of the global cybersecurity sector is USD 120 billion. It is estimated that it will double by 2020. Polish cybersecurity products and services based on innovative solutions may turn out to be a competitive export material.
“Poland has all the important assets to build a strong cybersecurity sector. The nature of the Polish economy allows it to develop a national specialization in this area. However, this requires a coordinated and advised engagement of the state,” stressed Dominik Skokowski, the Kościuszko Institute’s expert and editor of the report.
Based on the analysis of the development of the cybersecurity sector in Great Britain, Israel, and Singapore, the authors believe it is necessary for the state to engage actively both in the civilian and military spheres. The report also explains that public administration support is crucial at every stage, starting with designing and implementing a national strategy, through the creation of proper cooperation mechanisms, up to forming a research and development program. Additionally, it is worth using the opportunities presented to Poland by its NATO and EU membership.
Close public-private cooperation for cybersecurity will also play a very important role, as it should also support innovative solutions. The experience and know-how of the private sector allow us to create a well-functioning market that can compete with international tycoons. This path was taken by countries, which are considered global leaders in cybersecurity, including Israel where in 2015, the profits of the cybersecurity sector reached USD 3.75 billion, which is 1% of Israeli GDP. Another example is Great Britain, whose export of cyber products is estimated at about USD 2 billion.
In case of Poland, it is very important to ensure a friendly institutional and legal environment. Public administration should create conditions conducive to strengthening the competitiveness of Polish companies, including start-ups, as well as supporting their expansion outside of the country. Poland should also draft a long-term strategy of improving its image, aimed at promoting native businesses and Polish know-how.
“Today, it is hard to imagine the development of a modern, internationally significant state without the participation of native IT companies. This is related to cybersecurity and the idea of cyber-sovereignty, but also to the well-understood economic pragmatism. If local companies become successful businesses, it benefits not only their owners and employees but also all citizens. Additionally, they contribute significantly to the state budget,” said Zdzisław Wiater, Director of the Military Section at Asseco Poland. “Today Poland has a huge potential in the form of native IT companies, which for the past 25 years have acquired competencies to build a strong Polish economy and the security of the state and key sectors,” he added.
The goal of the report “Security through innovations. The cybersecurity sector as a driving force of economic growth”, published by the Kościuszko Foundation is to identify the most important steps that need to be made to build a cybersecurity sector based on innovative products and services. The publication includes a comprehensive analysis of key aspects of public-private cooperation, development of the ICT market and cyber innovations, role of the military sector, and case studies of states that have become leaders in cybersecurity. Asseco Poland is the project’s partner.