Copyright: FKPH
2016-09-08 Brussels

Cybersecurity and Europe’s role in the era of digitalisation

Panel discussion hosted by VDE and Infineon Technologies in Brussels

8.9.2016 Cybersecurity

Brussels, 8 September 2016: European Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger sees Europe's industry well positioned to meet the growing challenge of cyber security. The enormous challenge of growing data traffic can only be overcome in close European cooperation between politics, business and administration. "We need teamwork at European level if we want to play a role in the large and growing global market competition" said the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society in Brussels, speaking at a panel discussion hosted by VDE and Infineon Technologies AG in the EU representation of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.


8.9.2016 Cybersecurity

In addition to the EU’s aspired goal of creating a digital economy and the 5G communication standard, no other issue was as important as the guarantee of cyber security, said Oettinger. Data protection had always been central, but it had to be discussed rationally and not emotionally. Data security was becoming increasingly important in the face of a huge daily increase in the volume of data - for example in energy and water supply or health care - and plays a decisive role in the functioning of economic and social life.

Europe could not afford to delay the necessary collective action since the Internet of Things has long been a reality in companies and among citizens. Oettinger was pleased that the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), which is responsible for the implementation of the Directive on Network and Information Security (NIS), could draw on expertise from the private sector. With regard to the important issue of certification of cybersecurity systems, a close cooperation with industry was required. Once established, a European certification system could set a global standard.

Oettinger: Investment potential for cyber security around two billion euros

8.9.2016 Cybersecurity

Oettinger sees an investment volume of around two billion euros in data security for the coming years: each euro invested by public authorities would be supplemented by an estimated threefold amount from industry.

Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies and member of the VDE board, shared Oettinger's position and welcomed the initiatives that had been initiated. Europe had the competence to grant cyber security. "In the age of digitalisation, Europe can also play an enormous role in setting standards for data security" explained Ploss.

The experts of the panel discussion agreed that data security was no longer a problem that can be limited to software. Prof. Dr. Christoph Kutter, Director of Fraunhofer Reseach Institution for Microsystems and Solid State Technologies (EMFT), member of the VDE board and moderating the event, pointed out that the problem of data security was becoming more and more important for hardware.

Philippe Vannier, CTO at Atos SE, explained the rapid development of high-performance computers. This would lead to at least 15 billion objects being connected in 2020. Therefore, there was no alternative to the development of data security solutions. There was still a big backlog, especially in the pursuit of hacker attacks on data systems.

Europe wants to join forces to combat cyber crime

8.9.2016 Cybersecurity

Dr. Paul Timmers, Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity at the European Commission's Directorate-General CONNECT, also referred to the wide range of hacker activities that made it necessary to design a suitable security system. The EU top official saw it as a challenge for European industry to take initiatives to deal with the "Internet of Things".

Ansgar Hinz, CEO of VDE, emphasized that awareness of data security and data protection had to be sharpened in society and business: "Cyber security must become an integral part of day-to-day activities.” The world of data might not grow more complicated, but it was becoming more complex. The task was therefore to manage complexity and to establish common standards for different security levels.

Dr. Paul Rübig, Member of the European Parliament, also spoke out in favour of a determined European approach and safety precautions that could be used in all applications wherever possible. The Austrian referred to the need for research and consulting on how to treat the new technologies politically and legally.

At the moment Europe could not shape solutions for data security but could simply agree to or reject offers from America, Russia or Asia. Therefore, the experts agreed on the demand not to wait for external data security networks, but to take European action.
The lively discussion was followed closely by more than 130 interested participants.

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