IGF 2023 Open Forum #85 How to retain the cyber workforce in the public sector?

Wednesday, 11th October, 2023 (05:45 UTC) - Wednesday, 11th October, 2023 (06:45 UTC)
WS 6 – Room E

Cyberattacks, Cyberconflicts and International Security

Round Table - 60 Min


Cyber security threats have evolved greatly in the past years, with the worrying trend that a growing number of cyberattacks target military and civilian critical infrastructure across the world. The impact of cybersecurity incidents can cascade from organization to organization and across borders, posing systemic risk to governments globally. To defend critical public infrastructure, more cyber security professionals need to be trained and recruited globally, especially in the public sector. However, this alone is not enough: Strategies need to be developed to address the problem of professionals leaving the sector for better working conditions or other career paths. The skilling and upskilling of cyber security professionals in the public sector need to go hand in hand with retention and recruitment strategies. In order to make working in the public sector more attractive for cyber security professionals, governments need to develop sustainable retention strategies containing incentive and reward mechanisms. In this open forum, the aim is discussing this question by reviewing and evaluating talent retain strategies for cyber professionals in the public sector. The session will feature speakers from the public and private sector, who will share national, regional and global approaches that go beyond the usual focus on lack of cybersecurity professionals in organisations. Public sector organisations need professionals with the skills and competences to prevent, detect, deter and defend the public sector, including its most critical infrastructures and ensure its resilience. Therefore, this open forum is intended to foster the global, cross-sectoral exchange on working conditions and retention strategies to find answers to the question of how to close the cybersecurity talent gap in the public sector. In-person and virtual comments and contributions from the audience of the open forum will be highly encouraged.

1) How will you facilitate interaction between onsite and online speakers and attendees? The workshop session will be divided in three parts: the first part will consist on speakers exposing their views and experiences on talent retention, the second part will consist of a short debate among the different perspectives raised by the speakers and the third part will be devoted to Q&A. In this context to ensure a proper interaction between online and onsite audience, the session will count with onsite and an online moderator, and also an onsite facilitator. During the session the onsite moderator will be responsible for organizing the interventions and interacting with the speakers to ensure that the goals of the session will be sought appropriately, and also safeguarding the due balance to meet diversity expectations within the interventions, either by the speakers or the audience. 2) How will you design the session to ensure the best possible experience for online and onsite participants? The online moderator will be the one taking care of the flow within all the online tools involved with the session, as well as read, select and guarantee that the onsite moderator will be aware of questions and comments received by the remote audience (Zoom Chat and Q&A, Hashtags in social networks like Twitter, among others). Finally, the rapporteur will make sure to capture all the highlights and critical information of the session to list key takeaways for the short report and consolidate a further final report to be delivered to the IGF Secretariat. The organization team will also be alert to help participants in any technical issue and/or delays they may have so as to not negatively impact the session dynamics. 3) Please note any complementary online tools/platforms you plan to use to increase participation and interaction during the session. Zoom and Mural will be used to increase engagement in the section.


German Federal Foreign Office and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

  • Marie Ndé Sene Ahouantchede, Program Officer e-Applications & e-Government at Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS (virtual)
  • Yasmine Idrissi Azzouzi, Cybersecurity Programme Officer, ITU (in presence)
  • Komitas Stepanyan, Director Central Bank of Armenia (in presence)
  • Martina Castiglioni, Programme Officer, European Cybersecurity Competence Center (virtual)
  • Lara Pace, Head of Capacity Building Practice, Protection Group International (virtual)
  • Final Key Speaker: Regine Grienberger, Cyber Ambassador Germany, Federal Foreign Office (in presence)
Onsite Moderator

Laura Hartmann

Online Moderator

Martina Calleri


Martina Calleri


5. Gender Equality
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: The proposal links primarily with the following SGD: 17.9 Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation The discussion will explore cyber capacity building initiatives in developing countries aimed at supporting national plans and triangular cooperation. The speakers´ geographical backgrounds cover North-South cooperation objectives as the panel aims to push the conversation forward on a global challenge that has been addressed differently by national governments. Regional initiatives will also be brought to the table with case studies that have resulted in lesson learnt on talent retention. Moreover, the panel covers the following SDG: 5 Gender Equality 5.5 Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life The panel ensures equal gender representation with the presence of importance contributors of initiatives that have fostered women in cybersecurity in different regions. The lack of cyber professionals is particularly visible in the low number of women in cybersecurity for which speakers will dedicate particular attention during the panel. Finally, the panel also covers the following SDG: 17 Partnerships for the goals 17.6 Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism The aim of the panel is to come up with concrete next steps to increase cooperation on cyber capacity building for talent retention and strengthen partnerships. 17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships