Tuesday

31st Mar 2020

EU to beef up cybersecurity agency

  • Europe faces some 4,000 cyberattacks a day, Juncker said. (Photo: Yuri Samoilov)

A European Commission official confirmed to EUobserver that Jean-Claude Juncker's proposal to set up a European Cybersecurity Agency is in fact about increasing the mandate of an already existing agency.

The Commission president proposed to set up a European Cybersecurity Agency on Wednesday (13 September), without mentioning that the EU already has an agency dealing with that subject.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

In his annual State of the European Union speech, Juncker noted that Europe faced 4,000 ransomware attacks per day last year and that the new agency should "defend" the bloc against these attacks.

"Cyberattacks know no borders and no one is immune. This is why, today, the commission is proposing new tools, including a European Cybersecurity Agency, to help defend us against such attacks," he said.

He did not mention the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (Enisa), an EU agency that was set up in 2004.

Enisa, which is based in Greece, issues opinions and recommendations and recently received additional tasks.

Under a directive adopted last year, Enisa was tasked with assisting national governments in developing national cybersecurity strategies, if they asked for it.

The agency was also given the task of organising the secretariat of a new pan-EU cooperation group. However, it has no mandate to fend off cyberattacks.

Juncker meant to say that Enisa should be beefed up, rather than that a new agency should be set up.

The EU commission has previously announced that, by this month, it would "review the mandate of Enisa to define its role in the changed cybersecurity ecosystem".

The commission official said Enisa "will be reinforced so that it can assist EU countries which face cyberattacks and prepare them with annual cyber exercises", the official said.

EU to force firms to report major cyber attacks

Negotiators from the European Parliament and national governments have reached an agreement on new cyber-security rules. Amazon, Ebay and Google are expected to be affected.

Interview

Greece keen to keep EU cybersecurity agency

Greek official welcomed proposal to give the agency a bigger role, downplayed its kitchen sink problems, and said he was himself the victim of a computer virus.

EU agency to fight election hacking

A new-model EU cybersecurity agency could help states defend their elections against "hybrid attacks", the Commission has said.

Interview

EU 'underestimated' cyber-crime

"Cybercrime is growing much, much faster than I think we anticipated," the EU commissioner for security, Julian King, told EUobserver.

News in Brief

  1. 12-year old Belgian girl dies of coronavirus
  2. EU Commission: no 'indefinite' emergency measures
  3. Denmark plans 'gradual' return to normal after Easter
  4. Globally over 780,000 cases of coronavirus, 37,000 deaths
  5. EU states losing 3% of GDP a month, IMF says
  6. Fruit pickers need to cross borders too, EU says
  7. Former Slovak minister to become EU envoy on Kosovo-Serbia
  8. Hungary's Orban wins rule-by-decree vote in parliament

Are EU data watchdogs staffed for GDPR?

The success of the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) will depend on whether data protection authorities enforce the new rules - which, in turn, will be at least partly determined by how many people they employ.

Eight countries to miss EU data protection deadline

The EU starts enforcing its general data protection regulation on 25 May - but Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania and Slovenia won't be ready. The delay will cause legal uncertainty.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking Europe’s Economy Circular – the time is now
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  3. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us