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Politics

Greece’s Digital Minister Pushes EU Cybersecurity Shield Upgrade

ATHENS –  At the inauguration of new headquarters for the European Union’s cybersecurity agency ENISA in the Greek capital, Digital Governance Kyriakos Pierrakakis said the bloc has to step up protection against hackers.

Falling behind the ability of hackers to bring down government institutions and businesses, the EU needs to step up its game and create what he called a European Cyber Shield, said Kathimerini.

Pierrakakis said “we need to protect our digital world and technologies the same way we need to protect our physical world,” as cyber war fears have rivaled those of traditional weapons.

“Facing unprecedented crises in several aspects,  we encounter a wake-up call, urging the EU to reinforce quickly the level of cybersecurity within our Member States,” he added.

ENISA is the only EU agency headquartered in Greece and moved its offices to the northern Athens suburb of Halandri but has often been silent as cyberattacks were taking place against businesses and governments.

At the event, Greece’s Margaritis Schinas, European Commissioner for Promoting the European way of life, said the “inauguration of the new ENISA headquarters is a strong symbol in the dark times we are living through. The war at our doorstep is not only raging in the streets of Kiev or in Mariupol. It adds to the growing number of threats that have been relentlessly targeting the EU and its neighbors in the past weeks and months.”

Added Schinas, from the ruling New Democracy: “To these threats and to their perpetrators, that only seek to divide us, we must respond firmly, with solidarity, with unity and with coordination. Speak and act with one voice. One European voice. ENISA is a cornerstone of this joint effort.”

ENISA Executive Director Juhan Lepassaar said the agency’s new headquarters provided it “with a firm basis to implement its mandate of achieving a common high level of cybersecurity in Europe,” which hasn’t been fully done yet.

ENISA management board members exchanged views on the direction the agency should follow in key areas of its work in the wake of Russian aggression against Ukraine.

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