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Cybersecurity top priority in Europe

February 2020 by

Cybersecurity. Companies tumble around each other for attention when it comes to digital security and protection against cybercrime. Cybersecurity is also a top priority within the European Community. Around this topic, a network of organisations, institutions and companies has been formed that deal with the subject from different angles. Together with CoESS, Euralarm published a brochure on the threats and possibilities of cybersecurity. Orgalim is emerging from the industrial business world. We spoke to Orgalim’s Christoph Luykx, Policy Director who is, among other things, responsible for the subject of cybersecurity.

Top priority

"Cybersecurity is indeed a top priority for us", he opens the conversation. "The companies we represent are inextricably linked to digital transformation. And our members also have a self-interest in this." Their machines, products and business models are largely digital and to a greater or lesser extent part of the Industrial Internet of Things. "Where machines connect or products collaborate digitally, a cyber-safe environment is a prerequisite. A robust security, that is to say, because that is the only way to safeguard economic interests and to create confidence in the digital single market.”

"The strategic and policy developments in Europe are numerous. The Cybersecurity Act provides some direction, but there is still much to be done - for members, companies and users. The Cybersecurity Act is mainly concerned with certification. Of processes, but increasingly also of products. There is also room for improvement in the involvement of stakeholders. We therefore certainly welcome the initiative to form a stakeholder group, to which Orgalim has put forward my candidature. However, it is necessary to keep the size of the focus group manageable. As with many other initiatives, the more participants there are, the greater the risk of fragmentation." The Cybersecurity Act is a nice first step on the way to a safe ’connected’ world. Now that cybersecurity is taking shape in Europe, work can be done at the same time to broaden it to the rest of the world. Europe can occupy a global position by working on the global standard for cybersecurity. "In addition, important improvements are conceivable when it comes to raising awareness," says Christoph Luykx. "There is a great challenge to improve this awareness within Europe. This requires instruments that are not yet available."

Great significance

When we ask Christoph about the significance of cybersecurity for the daily practice of many companies, he answers: "To start with, companies have to deal with cybersecurity. Certification of Products, processes and systems could be part of the future direction, but is not the silver bullet solution. We also have to prevent the certification from becoming too heavy or too complex for small and medium-sized companies. At the same time, there will also be higher mutual requirements - especially by large companies to smaller ones. This will undoubtedly increase market pressure." ?

This, combined with tighter regulation, will increase liability issues and lead to more pressure on the supply chain. These developments make it clear that cooperation in the field of cybersecurity is of great value. "This cooperation can relate to the chain, associations, industry and government. In this respect, there is still work to be done within the triangle of trust between civil society, industry and regulatory authorities and organisations.”

Opportunities in abundance

Does the subject of cybersecurity then only offer threats? "Certainly not", says Christoph Luykx. "Cybersecurity offers opportunities in abundance. Just take the digital identities and their security. There are plenty of opportunities there. Building on the industrial base, cybersecurity can be a springboard to completely new business and business models. This is also recognised by the European Commission, which will pay a great deal of attention to industrial policy and the strategic development of value chains. Europe, which has always been strong in innovation, can lead the way in this. As we advocated in ‘2030: an industry vision for a renewed Europe’, it is time for the EU to embrace the innovation-led transformation of our industry and beyond. At the same time, as an industry, we must unite and make ourselves strong. This cooperation is necessary if we are to continue to convince Europe of the need for funds for industrial innovation. Cybersecurity is one of the subjects, as is Artificial Intelligence, industrial data and its sharing. If we arrange this properly, new openings will be created for customers and suppliers in a safe, reliable and future-proof environment."

Cybersecurity brochure

With CoESS and Euralarm as publishers of the brochure ‘Cybersecurity - Threat or Opportunity? It’s up to you!’ it covers the complete supply chain for the fire and security market – from manufacturers of products to private security companies and their customers. The brochure highlights in an understandable language the risks and responsibilities for each stakeholder in the chain and what companies need to do to mitigate these risks – both from a human and technological perspective. Many are not yet aware of the importance of these, sometimes simple, measures for the security and reputation of their business.

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