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ENISA’s Executive Director at the 4th EP ITRE Committee meeting on Digital Union and cybersecurity

September 2015 by Marc Jacob

On 23 September 2015, ENISA’s Executive Director, Prof. Udo Helmbrecht, participated at the fourth meeting of the Working Group on Digital Union of the ITRE Committee on cybersecurity at the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels.

Prof. Helmbrecht spoke to the Working Group about ENISA’s role in ‘securing and enabling Europe’s information society’, focusing on the Agency’s work with Europe’s Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) and the facilitation of pan-European cyber exercises.

ENISA counts 11 years of close collaboration with CSIRTs in Europe and around the world. Related deliverables by ENISA have either been developed or validated in collaboration with the various communities. In July, the Agency was awarded the ’Liaison Member’ status by the European Computer Security Incident Response Team task force (TF-CSIRT). TF-CSIRT’s training program is partly based on ENISA material, and the Agency regularly contributes to these training sessions. About 10 EU Member States have already benefited from these activities with many more to come.

ENISA’s Cyber Exercises equip EU Member States with skills to handle cyber crises

The main goal of the cyber exercises conducted during Cyber Europe 2014 has been to train EU Member States to cooperate during a large-scale cyber-crisis. This year for the first time, the three-phase exercise tested all three phases of a cyber-incident response – technical, operational and strategic – and provided participants opportunities to assess the effectiveness of cooperation and escalation procedures during cross-border cyber incidents. The lessons learned from Cyber Europe 2014 are numerous and provide the basis for ground-breaking work in cyber crisis cooperation, an emerging field which EU and ENISA are leading. “At ENISA, we are committed to implementing the action plan, with the support of the Member States, to further improve cyber crisis preparedness both at the national and EU levels”, said Udo Helmbrecht. Notably, ninety-eight per cent (98%) of participants of the technical phase indicated interest to participate in the next exercise.

The message put across during the meeting by the Executive Director of ENISA was that “Cybersecurity cannot be seen as a field isolated from society, restricted to experts. Instead it has become a fundamental element necessary for the smooth functioning of our internal market, both national and EU, our industry, and our citizens. ENISA’s work and activities are a unique intersection of expertise along with its knowledge of industry, stakeholder’ and policy needs, and it is the actor who can ensure a common level of understanding and facilitate significant advancements in cyber cooperation and compliance across Europe”.

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