Accountability and oversight in state responses to cybersecurity incidents: preparing for the future

Policy Briefing

Thematic Track: Harnessing technologies to build a better future

Accountability and oversight in state responses to cybersecurity incidents: preparing for the future

DCAF – The Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the United Nations
  • 31/10/2023 @ 15:00 - 16:30
  • Conference Center C1 (pétale 5) and Online

Contemporary reliance on digital technologies and infrastructure means that we are increasingly exposed to security threats and challenges in the cyberspace. Threats to cybersecurity raise questions surrounding not only institutional preparedness to a digital crisis, but also the extent to which security sector actors act within their mandates and are held accountable for their responses to cybersecurity incidents. This new security landscape requires targeted research and policy guidance. Discussions regarding the extent to which security sector actors are prepared to deliver a coordinated response to cybersecurity incidents are crucial, particularly within the overarching goal of good SSG where security sector actors are expected to conduct their activities in an open and transparent manner that is in line with their mandate. In this context, cybersecurity is one of the latest aspects of national security policies that has become increasingly important. Policy makers are still catching up with the pace of technological developments utilised by a myriad of actors, both friendly and hostile. This requires new legal and policy frameworks to be developed quickly and comprehensively to ensure that people continue to have faith in the capability of their government to respond to cyber threats.

This policy briefing aims to explore avenues to foster greater trust in the ability for security sector institutions to respond to cybersecurity threats in a manner that is open, transparent, and accountable. This question is addressed from two angles: how states can (1) prepared for a coordinated response to cybersecurity threats, and (2) be held accountable for the actions that were adopted in response to cybersecurity incidents. This policy briefing therefore brings together experts and stakeholders to share their perspectives and provide the audience with a rich and informative experience. With the onset of digitalization and the progressively diverse use of digital tools by a wide spectrum of actors, this policy briefing aims to highlight the role that different actors can play in cybersecurity preparedness, the importance of an open and transparent approach in dealing with cybersecurity incidents, and the avenues to ensure greater accountability and oversight in the provision of security.

Translation will be provided. See requirements here.




  • José Cepeda, Former Senator of Spain and Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, International Parliamentary Union
  • Besmir Semanaj, Senior Information Technology Engineer, Kairos Beteiligungs GmbH (Vienna, Austria) 
  • Franziska Klopfer, Principal Programme Manager, DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance
  • Dawn Lui, Project Officer, DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance