Cybersecurity: Protecting the digital economy

Online security cannot be taken for granted as hackers and cyber attackers continue to outdo software engineers. Although there are means of beefing up security, including hardware and server backups, remote security controls, filtering and encryption, the scale and risk of attacks is becoming more pronounced and political.

Quelle: vom 19.11.12


The largest cyber-attack in the European Union to date took place in Estonia in 2007 and led to a temporary shut down of the country’s banks, ministries, newspapers and broadcasters.

A smaller scale attack in 2011 saw more than 150 of the French finance ministry's 170,000 computers hacked for documents relating to a G20 meeting hosted there.

In March 2011 cyber attackers penetrated the European Commission’s external action service e-mails and the European Emissions Trading Scheme. A subsequent attack in July 2012 on the European Council targeted officials around President Herman Van Rompuy. The global number of web-based attacks went up 36% during 2011.

The European Commission has stated that cyber security is a “war of attrition” rather than an ad hoc battle.

In addition to strengthening its own security systems, the EU Executive has decided to open a dedicated cybercrime centre from the beginning of 2013. Meanwhile, Europe continues to seek new avenues for international co-operation on the issue as cyber-attackers often seek refuge in countries where legislation is the weakest.