Representatives of Member States and the European Commission discussed the European protection of critical information infrastructures on 14-15 April 2011 in a high-profile conference in Balatonfüred.
During the meeting Zsolt Nyitrai, Minister of State for Info-communication of the Ministry of National Development pointed out the needs for upgrading the protection of European networks. “Over the recent years attacks have become more and more sophisticated and dangerous; the bad guys are becoming more prepared,” Zsolt Nyitrai said, highlighting the challengesMember States must confront. In his opinion, by now the Internet has become essential for both the individuals and the European economy; so upgrading the protection of European networks is needed. The Minister of State explained that the initial objective is to first join forces within Europe and later, collaborating more widely by involving the United States.
Zsolt Nyitrai expressed his hopes in reaching a consensus concerning the issues raised in the conference in Balatonfüred bythe official meeting of Ministers for Telecommunication scheduled for 27 May. The Minister ofState especially highlighted: the Hungarian Presidency is ambitious to ensure that the meeting of the Council will reach an agreement on extending the mandate of European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) and manages to terminate the uncertainty around the organisation.
“Member States must increase their readiness and planning”, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes pointed out. She openly expressed her opinion on Member States having not yet done enough to establish digital safety, “A cyber-strategy in itself is not enough, we must start this work now”, Kroes underlined. The Commissioner mentioned that according to the guidelines of the Commission, Member States must undertake to establish the network of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT).
Under another proposal of the Commission, by 2012 a European emergency response plan, based on national commitments, must be worked out, and Member States must regularly conduct pan-European “cyber tests, in order to check for security readiness. After today’s meeting we will compile a list of the necessary steps,” Ms Kroes said, summing up the action points. She added, “Each Member State is committed to tackling cyber-security issues, and we must create an opportunity for the European states to enter the digital world.”
Péter Györkös is Hungary’s Permanent Representative to the European Union. Diplomats carry their duties wherever they are ordered by his superior officers, but Péter Györkös has a “personal attachment” to his present assignment: for more than twenty years, he has been monitoring closely the process of European unification and has actively worked for it in his successive positions.