ENISA on Cyber Security: Future Challenges and Opportunities

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our society has become irreversibly dependent on Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

Unfortunately, whilst these technologies have brought many benefits, the increased adoption of them has also been accompanied by the development of a new set of cyber threats which are developing in ever more rapid, sophisticated and sinister ways.

This means that the protection of critical infrastructure, and the applications that run on top of it, is not just about technology and security, it is closely connected to the European Union’s competitiveness and prosperity.

Any future approach to securing Europe’s ICT systems must be coherent across geographical borders and pursued with consistency over time.

This is not the case at the present time, where different approaches to securing information and systems are developed independently in different Member States and in different communities.

However, without a coordinated global approach to major incidents on the internet, Member States could find themselves in a situation where local systems cannot function correctly due to issues that are outside their control.

ENISA believes international coordination is essential to achieve a holistic approach to network and information security. This includes cooperation throughout Europe as well as worldwide in both the public and private sectors.

In many ways, it is this global dimension that distinguishes cyber security from what we have referred to in the past as information security. The EU institutions and bodies should provide the support and the framework for Member States to achieve a coordinated global approach.

One of ENISA’s tasks is to bridge the gap between policy and operational requirements; it does so by being an impartial European platform for information sharing amongst EU Member States, and also globally.

The main contributions of ENISA to enhancing cyber security are in the following areas:

  • Identification and analysis of emerging trends and threats
  • Awareness of network and information security risks and challenges
  • Early warning and response
  • Critical information infrastructure protection
  • Adequate and consistent policy implementation
  • Actions against cybercrime
  • International cooperation
  • Information exchange
  • Building communities

There are a number of areas where the current approach to improving cyber security in the EU could sensibly be extended. For example, there is a clear need to collect and analyse data relating to information security in a crossborder context which could reveal trends that are not visible at present.

Also, the coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty is an opportunity to improve the level of dialogue between communities in the area of network and information security. A proactive approach to building these new cross-border communities will bring great benefits both in terms of the effectiveness of its approach and efficiency in use of its resources.

It is important that our efforts to protect and facilitate the development and prosperity of the European Information Society do not lose momentum. These efforts are addressed on many fronts with multiple stakeholders – all are increasing in numbers and scope along with the pervasiveness and economic importance of ICTs.

It is important that ENISA is modernised and further developed to allow the Agency to respond to these changes and provide support and expertise for stakeholders across Europe.

Source:  http://www.enisa.europa.eu/publications/position-papers/cyber-security-future-challenges-and-opportunities

Download the full ENISA document below:

Information Security
Cyber Security Information Technology Detection Threats ENISA Information Security European Union ICT
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