Europe needs cybersecurity agency, says Telefonica

Governments need to invest more in cybersecurity measures, telco security chief says

Europe must establish an international cybersecurity agency to battle the rise of online threats, according Telefonica's security chief.

Cybersecurity has changed dramatically since the early 2000s, Jose Luiz Gilperezsaid, and Europe is not prepared to fend off the new breed of threats.

Nowadays cybersecurity risks pose an equal danger to physical threats, he claimed, saying: "I don't think there's a big difference between the one and the other."

While lone troublemakers used to be the primary threat actors, cybersecurity is now "a matter of business, and a matter of states".

This issue was particularly foregrounded earlier this year, when the US Office of Personnel Management was hit by a cataclysmic data breach resulting in millions of people's data being leaked.

Various US officials accused China of perpetrating the attack, although the country has denied all involvement.

The country was also linked to DDoS attacks on GitHub, and was alleged to be using a cyberweapon known as the Great Cannon'.

While unproven, the claims against China appear to demonstrate Gilperez's observation that nation-states "have a lot of resources to create very, very sophisticated weapons".

In physical conflicts, you know how damaging an attack is likely to be, he said, "but in the cyber-war, you don't know the real impact an enemy can make".

To illustrate his point, Gilperez cited the fact that the US government's spending on cyber defence is around $14 billion, saying that "in Europe, we should be doing something like this as a whole region".

However, he also warns that a lack of skilled operatives could set any such project back. "You'll find maybe five people in the Spanish army with the adequate skill level", he said, suggesting that collaboration with the private sector could help bridge the digital skills gap.

His comments come after Chancellor George Osborne warned that terror group ISIS wants to hack UK infrastructure like hospitals, though it is not believed to have such capabilities yet.

Featured Resources

The definitive guide to warehouse efficiency

Get your free guide to creating efficiencies in the warehouse

Free download

The total economic impact™ of Datto

Cost savings and business benefits of using Datto Integrated Solutions

Download now

Three-step guide to modern customer experience

Support the critical role CX plays in your business

Free download

Ransomware report

The global state of the channel

Download now

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

17 Sep 2021
London ranks second to Silicon Valley as world's best startup hub
startups

London ranks second to Silicon Valley as world's best startup hub

22 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021