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Athens conference plans Europe's shield against cyber attacks

Experts from the EU and EFTA (European Free Trade Association) are meeting in the Greek capital to prepare for a potential major attack.

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Athens conference plans Europe's shield against cyber attacks

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What would happen if Europe were targeted by a large-scale cyber attack?

Point of view

It's crucial for Europe getting ready for something that might happen very soon

Paulo Empadinhas Head of Administration, ENISA

Experts from all over the continent are currently meeting in Athens to carry out a series of exercises designed to test the authorities’ capacity to deal with a crisis, as well as levels of cooperation.

Under the umbrella of the EU’s Agency for Network Information and Security (ENISA), 300 organisations including governments and internet providers are taking part in “Cyber Europe 2016’:https://www.enisa.europa.eu/topics/cyber-exercises/cyber-europe-programme/ce2016.

“We know there are already cyber criminal attacks. When you see than banking accounts are stolen, that other private data are stolen, what we have seen in the press. We have seen other attacks on tax, or even political attacks in Estonia or Georgia, eight to 10 years ago. So, what we are doing here is to prepare Europe in order to defend ourselves,” said ENISA’s Executive Director, Udo Helmbrecht.

International cooperation is essential. Cyber attacks are rarely confined to the borders of one country.

But issues such as sovereignty and a lack of trust between nations can cause problems.

“We really need reinforcement in terms of budget and staff and we really want and really ask all the member states, because what we’re doing here, it’s crucial for Europe getting prepared and getting ready for something that might happen very soon,” said ENISA’s Head of Administration, Paulo Empadinhas.

The exercises are carried out every two years, and last several months.

Euronews correspondent Akis Tatsis reported from the conference in Athens:
“Europe is preparing its shield against cyber-crime. More than a thousand people here in Athens and across Europe are striving to counter cyber attacks. They’re simulating a process that requires high speed, a high level of knowledge and effective cooperation”.