Sunday

19th Feb 2017

Focus

Kroes demands internet security strategy

  • The European Commission will present a comprehensive EU internet strategy this year (Photo: UK Ministry of Defence)

EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes Tuesday (24 April) reiterated her call for an EU-wide internet security strategy, arguing that EU authorities have not done enough to establish defence mechanisms to prevent cyber attacks.

"While online attacks could pose significant risk to critical systems, so far we have not done enough to protect ourselves", she said.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Speaking by video link at the annual Infosecurity Europe conference in London, Kroes insisted that an overhauled governance structure was needed to tackle the cybercrime market, which is worth nearly $380bn worldwide, and to deal with the estimated 150,000 viruses in circulation.

She also mooted the possibility of increasing financial support for investing in security technologies through the €120 billion annual EU budget.

Arguing that maintaining internet security requires an EU rather than solely national approach, Kroes commented that:

"Given that internet attacks have such a wide mix of sources and impact, the solution is not simple. Internet security cannot be left to the traditional instruments of national security - as if cyberspace was just another military theatre."

During her speech at this year's meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January, Kroes warned that there was at least a 10 percent chance of a major breakdown in the worldwide computer network.

The EU executive is expected to present its plan for pan-EU web security in the second half of the year.

The EU's 27 national governments would be expected to ensure that national cyber-information authorities work alongside a "European cyber forum" to allow the pooling of data and information, and to put in place mandatory safeguard measures. The Commission will also draw up emergency contingency plans to deal with cyber-security incidents.

In February, the Brussels-based think-tank Security and Defence Agenda published a report of “country-by-country stress tests” on 23 major countries, as well as the United Nations, NATO and the EU. According to the SDA, Finland and Sweden are the EU countries most capable of withstanding cyber-attacks on their computer network, with eastern and Mediterranean member states the most vulnerable to attack.

Meanwhile, last month the European Commission unveiled its plan to establish a European cyber crime centre. The centre, which the Commission wants to open in 2013, will form part of the EU police agency Europol which is based in The Hague.

EU to set up anti-cyber-crime centre

Last year, worldwide profits generated from cybercrime outstripped the global trade in marijuana, cocaine and heroin - combined.

Germany leads EU countries on cloud computing

Five EU countries rank among the world’s top ten for policies that promote cloud computing, according to a study published on Wednesday by an ICT body representing Microsoft and other international software giants.

News in Brief

  1. Migrants storm Spanish enclave of Ceuta
  2. Spain's princess fined for tax fraud, husband sentenced
  3. EU to invest millions in energy infrastructure
  4. Dutch data watchdog forces online vote aides to up security
  5. EU allows Lithuania to ban Russian tv channel
  6. Finland announces increase in defence spending
  7. Ex-PM Blair says Brits should 'rise up' against Brexit
  8. Nato chief says facts to prevail over fake news

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  4. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  5. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe
  7. Salzburg Global SeminarToward a Shared Culture of Health: Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship
  8. European Free AllianceAustria Should Preserve & Promote Bilingual and Multinational Carinthia
  9. Martens CentreShow Your Love for Democracy! Take Part in Our Contest: "If It's Broken, Let's Fix It"
  10. CISPECloud Computing Leaders Establish Data Protection Standards to Protect Customer Data
  11. Malta EU 2017Landmark Deal Reached With European Parliament on Portability of Online Content
  12. Belgrade Security ForumBSF 2017: Building a Common Future in the Age of Uncertainty