Cyberattacks Cause Considerable Economic Damage to Governments, EP Says

Members of the European Parliament believe urgent measures are needed

A report recently published by the European Parliament (EP) highlights the fact that recent cyberattacks have caused considerable economic damage to European Union (EU) member states.

In the report, Tunne Kelam – an Estonian politician and a Member of the European Parliament – underscores the fact that member states and the EU in general have become “crucially reliant” on cyberspace.

“Cyber challenges, threats and attacks are growing at a dramatic pace and constitute a major threat to the security, defence, stability and competitiveness of the nation states as well as of the private sector; whereas such threats should not therefore be considered future issues,” the report reads.

It continues, “whereas a majority of highly visible and disruptive cyber incidents are now of a politically motivated nature; whereas the vast majority of cyber incidents remain primitive, threats to critical assets become increasingly sophisticated and warrant in-depth protection.”

Kelam explains that recent cyberattacks against European information networks and government systems have caused “considerable economic and security damage.”

However, the EU has yet to properly define terms such as “cyber security” and “cyber defense” and although it has proposed several initiatives to tackle cybercrime, it still hasn’t established a concrete plan as far as security and defense are concerned.

Kellam stresses that the EU needs “a global and coordinated approach” to address these challenges. Cooperation and coordination between EU institutions and agencies is also needed.

Another important factor is related to information on vulnerabilities, alerts and warnings about new threats.

The importance of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) is also highlighted, along with the need for national contingency plans in the event that actions must be taken.

On the other hand, the official explains that authorities have to consider respect for human rights and state sovereignty when using new technologies.

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