As more and more services move online, cybersecurity has become crucial to the digital world. A strong common level of cybersecurity protects us from malicious cyber activities, which threaten our economies and our way of life.
Cybersecurity is also an economic opportunity: the global market for products and services grows by 15-20% annually. And, it is a prerequisite for Europe to achieve digital sovereignty.
The Digital Europe Programme offers a chance to boost the common level of cybersecurity across the EU, underscoring the EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy.
The Digital Europe Programme is an investment programme that helps the EU achieve a values-based framework for technology. This includes the GDPR, new proposals on the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems (NIS), artificial intelligence, and the Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts.
It will invest in building European cybersecurity infrastructures – the ‘cyber shield’. And, it will promote the widespread deployment and take-up of state-of-the-art cybersecurity practices and equipment. This is crucial to building the EU’s digital sovereignty, which relies on the integrity and resilience of data infrastructure, networks and communications.
The Digital Europe Programme’s cybersecurity section will be managed by the future European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre that is being setup in Bucharest. This Competence Centre will work in collaboration with a Network of National Coordination Centres. Together, they will also coordinate cybersecurity investments by the EU, Member States and industry.
The Regulation establishing the Digital Europe Programme seeks to support the following operational objectives:
- advanced cybersecurity equipment, tools and data infrastructures, together with Member States;
- knowledge, capacity and skills related to cybersecurity; best practices;
- wide deployment of effective state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions, paying special attention to public authorities and SMEs;
- capabilities within Member States and the private sector in support of the NIS Directive;
- resilience, risk-awareness, at least basics levels of cybersecurity;
- enhancing synergies and coordination between the cybersecurity civilian and defence spheres, by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and best practices and more.