Two hundred people take part in Vigo in the most important Spanish congress on cybersecurity research

Inauguración web de las JNIC 2023

The conference on cybersecurity research, which will be held from 21 to 23 June, is organised by Gradiant and atlanTTic (University of Vigo) and has the collaboration of the Spanish National Institute of Cybersecurity (INCIBE).

The internationally renowned experts Mordechai Guri and Carmela Troncoso will give two keynote speeches in the field of cybersecurity.

JNIC 2023 will focus on three axes: Research, Transfer and Educational Innovation in Cybersecurity; through various sessions and round tables.


Two hundred people are taking part this week in the VIII Jornadas Nacionales de Investigación en Ciberseguridad (JNIC) to be held in Vigo from Wednesday 21 to 23 June. The event is the main reference in exposing the advances, knowledge and innovation in cybersecurity at national level, and for the first time in Galicia, after previous editions in León, Granada, Madrid, San Sebastián, Cáceres, online edition during the pandemic, and Bilbao. The conference is organised by the technological centre Gradiant and the Centre for Research in Telecommunication Technologies of the University of Vigo, atlanTTic. The initiative has the collaboration of the Spanish National Institute of Cybersecurity (INCIBE).

Juan Díez, Head of the Strategic Sector of Health, Food and Research at INCIBE indicated that “in a complicated geopolitical environment in which cybercrime is already one of the major global risks, according to the World Economic Forum, cybersecurity is a matter of state and of the utmost importance for companies. Therefore, in this context, where cybercriminals innovate by designing new threats and attacks, research in this field becomes essential.”

Mónica Valderrama, Vice-Rector for Communication and Institutional Relations at the University of Vigo, highlighted that “for us as an institution, these conferences are an opportunity to make visible the research and transfer potential that atlanTTic brings together with a national and international projection. Undoubtedly, this meeting favours the dissemination in an area of such relevance and current relevance as cybersecurity. Spectacular headlines about system crashes and global threats worry citizens who are aware that their daily lives could be affected if stability in this area is not guaranteed.”


For his part, the director of the Infrastructure and Security area of the Galician Agency for Technological Modernisation, Adrián Lence, highlighted the Xunta’s commitment to actions “that have as a common goal the promotion and deployment of cybersecurity in a transversal manner for the entire region”. He cited, among others, the Galician Cybersecurity Node, which brings together more than 55 public and private entities and announced the upcoming presentation of the Galician Cybersecurity Strategy and the creation of the Galician Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (CECIGA).”

Luis Pérez, Gradiant’s executive director, pointed out that “we cannot allow research to remain in the drawers. We are living a moment of historic opportunity to boost the cybersecurity sector in our country, and that boost has to come from the hand of technological innovation. That is why it is essential that quality research is carried out and that the results are channelled to industry, and this is undoubtedly a role on which we technology centres must focus on collaboration with the agents in our environment, both public and private. The JNIC is a great opportunity to make this opportunity visible and to put all the necessary agents in contact with each other.”

Finally, Martín Llamas, Director of atlanTTic, “cybersecurity is one of the three main strategic areas that form the backbone of our scientific agenda, together with communications and digital services, and atlanTTic is proud to organise this National Cybersecurity Research Conference. Our research work is focused on responding to the major challenges in connectivity, digitisation and cybersecurity, the latter being a cross-cutting vector in our research areas, in which we have been working since the creation of the Centre in 2010 and where, in recent years, we have established ourselves as a benchmark thanks to the scientific excellence of our research staff, to the projects and collaborations of international reference, or to the driving initiatives promoted in technologies such as cryptography and quantum communications through the Vigo Quantum Communications Center (VQCC).”


Disruptive Technologies, Cybersecurity and Quantum Technologies

JNIC is a scientific conference for the exchange of knowledge and experiences in the field of cybersecurity between academics, researchers and companies. The conference will focus on three axes: Research, Transfer and Educational Innovation in Cybersecurity; through various sessions and round tables.

The event’s programme includes two keynote talks with internationally renowned speakers in the field of cybersecurity. Mordechai Guri, computer expert and security researcher, will present in his lecture “Air-Gap Security: Attacks and Defence” concealment channels for communication with physically isolated networks. On the third day, Carmela Troncoso, PhD at KULeuven and Associate Professor at EPFL (Switzerland), will address in her lecture “Privacy by design: from paper to practice”, different interpretations of this philosophy of digital systems design, with examples of the use of technologies designed to improve privacy (Privacy Enhancing Technologies) combined with systems that allow complex functionalities without the need to collect or process data.

In addition to the ten sessions in which the selected papers will be presented, two round tables will allow discussions on Disruptive Technologies and the role of cybersecurity, and the horizon in quantum technologies during the first and second day of the event.

As a first this year, technological challenges have been collected to be included in the ‘Capture the Flag’ training competition of this congress, which ended on June 12th, and whose winners will receive their prizes during the conference itself.

During the conference, several prizes will be awarded to the best papers in different categories and to the best solutions proposed to the challenges of the JNIC Transfer Programme. There will also be an awards ceremony for the 5th edition of the RENIC Awards for the best ‘Doctoral Thesis’ and the best ‘Master’s Thesis in Cybersecurity’, giving the winners the opportunity to present their work during the conference.

The conference is supported by Axencia para la Modernización Tecnolóxica de Galicia (AMTEGA), Nodo Galego de Ciberseguridade, Consorcio de la Zona Franca de Vigo, Seresco, Plexus Tech, Cátedra R en Ciberseguridade, RENIC (Red de Excelencia Nacional de Investigación en Ciberseguridad), Eviden, Optare Solutions, Viewnext and CITIC (Centro de Investigación en Tecnologías de la lnformación y las Comunicaciones).


Cybersecurity in Spain

According to data from the Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE), which reports to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, in 2022, 118,820 cybersecurity incidents were managed from its Security Incident Response Centre (INCIBE-CERT),

Of this total, more than 110,100 incidents affected citizens and companies, 546 affected strategic operators (public or private organisation responsible for the operation of an essential infrastructure) and 7,980 affected the Spanish Academic and Research Network (RedIRIS).

In the area of citizens and companies, it should be noted that 1 in 3 are data leaks (sensitive, protected or confidential data that are stolen by an unauthorised person); and 2 out of 5 are vulnerabilities in technological systems (weaknesses in a system that may jeopardise its security).

In terms of the most frequent incidents, phishing stands out with almost 17,000 incidents, followed by malware with more than 14,000 and, lastly, ransomware, with almost 450 incidents.