Written by Zsolt G. Pataki
An increasing number of European citizens, enterprises and public bodies depend on ICT tools (both hardware and software) to run their critical processes, while the internet is becoming a crucial platform in the citizens’ daily lives in the European Union (EU). However, the core of critical services and the protection of key assets and critical infrastructures are mainly based on technologies developed by non-EU companies. Some of these companies are closely linked to foreign governments, whose interests may differ from those of the EU, and who do not always follow European standards and certifications.
In addition, the EU is facing a growing number of cyber threats that can hinder the potential of digital technologies. The construction of the digital single market may be affected by a loss of confidence in digital services and products on the part of both citizens and companies. Recent ransomware attacks, such as WannaCry and Petya, with limited real effect but high mass-media coverage, are good examples of the potential damage of cyber threats. The EU’s considerable dependence on non-EU providers represents another serious challenge to reinforcing EU cyber-resilience. Although this dependence affects the whole ICT ecosystem, it is particularly relevant in the cybersecurity industry.
Workshop hashtag: #EU4ICT
The objective of the STOA (Science and Technology Options Assessment) project on ‘Establishing a sovereign and trustworthy ICT industry in the EU‘ is to analyse how the EU could achieve an adequate level of cyber-resilience. The cross-border character of today’s cyber threats demands a strong coordinated effort among Member States, however cyber threat strategies remain a national competence, with each Member State defining its own cybersecurity strategy according to its priorities. This situation seriously challenges EU coordination and results in regulatory fragmentation.
STOA is organising a workshop on 27 September 2017 in the context of this project. The event will be chaired and moderated by Jan Philipp Albrecht, (Greens, Germany) a STOA Panel member, who proposed the project, along with Paul Rübig, (EPP, Austria), First STOA Vice-Chair. Key expert speakers (see programme) will share their views on the challenges that Europe faces in developing a cyber-resilient ICT industry, the risks of depending on non-EU providers, as well as the opportunities for European industry to compete in the vibrant and dynamic cybersecurity market. The workshop will also focus on describing how digital service providers are challenging data privacy and the remedies that the EU can implement to ensure data reciprocity.
Interested? Register for the workshop and join the debate.