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ENISA: The digital single market would up EU’s GDP by €500 bln a year

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If the digital single market became a fact, this would increase the gross domestic product of the European Union by some €500 billion per year, according to Graeme Cooper, Head of Public Affairs at ENISA - the European Union Network and Information Security Agency. He said that during his presentation “European priorities in information security” that he made at the 12th International InfoSec and Data Storage Conference, which took place on 26 September in Sofia.

The event was organised by ICT Media and ISACA Sofia Chapter in a cooperation with the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Transport, IT and Communications, and the State Agency for National Security, as well as ESI Centre East Europe. The general sponsors of the forum were ACT Sofia/Check Point, HP, and Symantec, and the official partners were Aкat Technology, Atos, BMG/Escom Bulgaria, EMC, Intracom Bulgariа, Lirex.com, Novell Suse & NetIQ, Rittal, Stemo/NetApp, Telelink, and VIVACOM.

Too many barriers still block the free flow of online services and entertainment across national borders. The Digital Agenda will update EU Single Market rules for the digital era. The aims are to boost the music download business, establish a single area for online payments, and further protect EU consumers in cyberspace

“When you think of the amount of trade and transactions that take place across the Internet, if that full potential is realised, it would be a massive growth for European economy. Especially in this particular time when there is a great need for economic recovery,” Cooper said. “This is one of the messages that both ourselves and the European Commission want to get out. If we can make the market work and have citizens participate in it fully, taking advantage of the economic and the social benefits that cyberspace brings, we can give a real boost to an economy that still needs recovery. So, we are very very keen on that”.

Graeme Cooper stressed that right now it is very important to build high trust and confidence in people in the EU in several key areas in order to get to that digital single market. These are online banking and shopping, personal information disclosure, and tackling cyber fraud. According to ENISA, more than one in ten Internet users across the EU has been a victim of online fraud.

The EU Cyber Security Strategy,

which is connected to the development of a digital single market, includes essential principles that lead to that international approach. One of them is that the core values of the Union have to apply as much in the digital as in the physical world. Also, fundamental rights, freedom of expression, personal data and privacy should be protected, and the Internet should be accessible to all citizens. In addition, the digital world must be subject to democratic and efficient multi-stakeholder governance and ensuring security must be a shared responsibility.

The strategy has five key objectives: achieving cyber resilience; drastically reducing cybercrime; developing cyber defence policy and capabilities related to the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP); developing the industrial and technological resources for cyber security; and establishing a coherent international cyberspace policy for the European Union and promoting core EU values.

As for cyber resilience,

this concept acknowledges that security breaches will happen and it is the resilience of an organisation in identifying and responding to security breaches that will become a critical survival trait.

As Alan Calder, CEO of IT Governance, says, “Cyber attacks will happen and cybercriminals are not going to go away. It’s not a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’ you will be attacked. Cyber-resilience means that an organisation's systems and processes are resilient against outside attack or natural disaster”.

In the area of cyber resilience the EC requires from ENISA to help member-states in the deployment of this conception at a national level and to assist them and the EU institutions in carrying out exercises related to cyber security incidents at a pan-European level, Cooper said. Furthermore, the Commission requires that in 2013 the Agency examines the feasibility of Computer Security Incident Response Team(s) for Industrial Control Systems (ICS-CSIRTs) for the EU and proposes a roadmap for the so-called "Network and Information Security Driving Licence" - a voluntary certification programme for NIS specialists. Later, in 2014, ENISA will support a cyber security championship in 2014, where university students will compete in proposing NIS solutions.

Another important initiative where ENISA has a key role is

European Cyber Security Month 2013

in October. A total of 26 countries will join the event, including Bulgaria, as well as one African country - Nigeria. This is the second edition of the project, which debuted in October 2012.

The goal of the campaign is to promote cyber security among citizens, to change their perception of cyber-threats and provide up to date security information, through education and sharing good practices.

Cyber Security 2012
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