Media: Cyber Security, an unsolved matter in Europe - New Europe

Nerea Rial, New Europe, 30.01.2013 The Internet has experienced a historical change in the last decade; it evolved from being “one more” emerging infrastructure to become almost the core of our lives, economy and society. However, this evolution brought consequences, and some of them are cyber threats, data leaks and security breaches. In this situation, the necessity of solutions is increasing, as well as the debate around who should be responsible to protect online information and prevent these kind of attacks: governments or businesses? At the Global Cyber Security Conference in Brussels, experts and policy makers tried to answer a question that is still up in the air. Despite the Internet is a platform which can be used by citizens around the world to make businesses, communicate, banking or even to solve health problems, “rising threats, rising vulnerabilities, and lack of trust all stand in the way”, stated Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and Responsible for the Digital Agenda. According to Symantec, the total number of attacks increased by 81% in just one year and its forms go from denial-of-service, to trojans, worms and botnets. “Fragmentation and duplication won't help: we need to cooperate, in all kinds of ways. We have long supported measures to boost that cooperation within the EU”, explained the commissioner. In order to tackle cyber attacks, the European Commission launched its Cyber Security Strategy and Directive. Nevertheless, to achieve the established objectives, is essential to build cooperation, trust, awareness and education about this new threat, highlighted Kroes. “We are in a hurry”, she said, and added that “we do have funds, and we have to use them”, as well as young generations, who is the best advisor in this issue. Both policy makers and business executives agreed that a regulation is needed, but also companies' commitment and responsibility. According to Giuseppe Abbamonte, member of DG Connect, in 2012, only 26% of the European companies defined a cyber security strategy and pointed out that this issue “is not being taken seriously enough.” Besides, Arne Schönbohm, CEO of BSS BuCET, explained that cyber security is not a top management matter for businesses and that standardisation must be still taken into account when developing new legislation. Cooperation between governments and companies is beneficial for both parts. In one hand, governments must show that they care freedom and competition; and businesses should protect their reputation and image for being attacked by cyber criminals, explained the MEP Marietje Schaake, who added that these rules have to respect citizens' rights. Big companies, such as Google or Microsoft, are already taking measures against online attacks, but for other businesses and countries is still an unsolved problem. Therefore, according to Joëlle Jenny, from the European External Action Service.all stakeholders have to put on the table the current problems, possible solutions and collaborative intentions.