News Item

Summing up: Cyber security & data privacy in focus at successful ENISA High Level Event

Published on December 12, 2013

The annual ENISA High Level Event took place in Brussels on 11h December with more than 200 key policy actors, academia and industry partners attending. The focus of the debate was on cyber security and data protection; a discussion on soft law vs hard law and dialogue.

The topic of this year’s event was “Securing the cyber-future: risks, threats, challenges and opportunities for coordinating Europe’s cyber security” and took place in the Representation of the State of Hessen to the EU premises. The event cooperation was also undertaken with the support of the European Security Round Table.

Some gemstones from the event:

  • Dr Zsuzsa Breier, State Secretary for European Affairs of the State of Hessen, clarified the need for cyber security at all levels, EU, Member States, and at regional level, and how cooperation is necessary to better address this issue.
  • Robert Madelin, Director General of DG CONNECT of the European Commission made an intervention regarding "Improving cybersecurity in the EU" which primarily outlined the new ENISA Regulation welcoming it as it is strengthening ENISA, making the agency more operational in multisites, and detailed what it means for improving Europe's cyber security; the Cyber Security Strategy and NIS Directive - the practicalities of its implementation; EU Horizon2020, launched yesterday (11th December). These topics provided a fond for further discussions and debate in the light of the recent implications of state surveillance revelations for IT security.
  • Mr Peter Hustinx, EDPS Supervisor intervened with an update on the Status of the new DP legislation and clarified its impact on the Cyber Security Strategy. Notably, he clarified that privacy could be a perception issue which does not exclude security. He also underlined that there is big consensus on the need for both more security and privacy.
  • Tomas Jakimavicius, Telecommunications Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of Lithuania to the European Union clarified the main achievements during the Lithuanian presidency and the challenges ahead, including the need for more international cooperation on incident reporting.
  • Two industry perspectives were given, industry perspective 1 : by Mr John Higgins, Director General at DigitalEurope, who made a contribution regarding “Risks & Rewards; costs and confidence-a fine business balance”, whereas industry perspective 2 was provided by Mr John Lyons, CEO as ICSPA, who made his intervention on the “Potential impact on business operations form the EU’s Cyber security strategy & NIS Directive”. Then a QA session panel followed, with Mr Gustav Kalbe of the European Commission, with summary and conclusions. The panel members had an interesting discussion with diverging opinions on where the exact balance needs to be struck in relation to soft vs hard law, the need for dialogue, and a risk balanced approach.

Professor Udo Helmbrecht mentioned the launch of the ENISA annual Cyber Threats landscape report in conjunction with the event, and commented;

We would most sincerely like to thank the State of Hessen for the excellent venue for the High Level Event, and for generously hosting this event in their new building, as well as the ESRT for excellent cooperation and support, as well as the speakers, and the audience, which all were necessary for making this even such a great success in terms of the quality of the debate, speakers, venue, topic, organisation, and attendance (more than 200 participants attending).

The debate also generated a Twitter flow under the hashtag #HLE13eu and social media interaction which also contributed to event reaching out to many more persons.


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