Weak cyber security will limit the potential of ICT to deliver social and economic benefits, European Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes told a telecoms conference in Hungary this morning.
Kroes called for a joint security effort from member states and other key “allies around the world,” noting that progress made to date is not enough to achieve the “close cooperation we need.”
“If we don’t take action now, we will be keeping a brake on the economy and exposing governments and citizens to avoidable risk,” the commissioner cautioned. She noted that while budgets are tight, “the cost of inaction is greater still.”
Trust in the digital economy is essential for future growth, Kroes said, noting that the €500 billion reaped by the region in online business each year is already on-par with the national economy of Belgium, and is growing at 12% per year. “Every missed chance to increase trust in the digital economy is a jobs killer, and profit kissed goodbye.”
Kroes called on Europe’s 27 member states to develop the region’s first contingency plan for cyber attacks and form emergency response teams by end-2012. Regional and local attack exercises should become a matter of routine, and individual countries should help develop agreed global security principals for the Web and cloud computing.
The commissioner concluded with a stark warning to member states against a lax response. “I will be insisting on high standards, and will push back hard against any complacency on these issues.”