Making Europe Safer. A new cybersecurity strategy to build trust and resilience

Policy Brief
I-Com
strategy

Digitalisation is revolutionizing business models and the relationship between authorities and citizens and between enterprises and consumers creating new opportunities, but also raising some critical issues. Among these, one of the most important is IT security. The increase in online activities and devices connected to the network increases the points of vulnerability that could be exploited by cyber- criminals. The restrictions on the mobility of individuals imposed by governments to curb the Covid-19 pandemic have made this problem even more serious. For example, according to data collected by the Swiss Cybersecurity Institute, cyber-attacks in the country during the month of April 2020 tripled compared to the monthly average.

The growing importance of the problem has placed the issue of placing cybersecurity at the top of the European Commission’s list of objectives. Since 2013, with the EU Cybersecurity Strategy, the EU authorities have tried to adopt measures to contain the problem. The enhancement of IT security is also a fundamental step to be taken in the implementation of 5G. The European Union must be able to define and implement effective security standards in order to make the development of 5G networks possible. This is a core target as these networks are a key element for the internal market to evolve, especially for the effective management of central economic and social services, such as energy, transport, financial services, health systems and industrial controls.

As a part of the Recovery Plan Communication “Europe’s moment: Repair and Prepare for the Next Generation”, the Commission published a new Cybersecurity Strategy focused on three pillars and connected initiatives. These will increase the level of cyber resilience of critical public and private sectors, encourage the upskilling of the workforce, attract and retain the best cybersecurity talent, strengthen cooperation between EU bodies and Member State authorities responsible for preventing, deterring and responding to cyber-attacks and step up work with international partners to strengthen the rules-based global order, promoting international security and stability in cyberspace, and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms online.