Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes has outlined her plans for a more robust and efficient European information security agency, and a pan-European identity and access management framework.
In a speech to the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy on Tuesday, Kroes explained that it had been her ambition to "reinforce" the European Network and Information Security Agency (Enisa) and make it more efficient.
"This means two things. First, Enisa must be able to attract and to retain the very best IT security experts in Europe," she said.
"Second, Enisa staff and stakeholders must have the best conditions for networking. This is essential for the agency to carry out its mission successfully."
As part of this mission to make Enisa more responsive and mobile, the agency has been granted permission for a separate "mobile assistance team" working out of Athens to help member states with their internet security.
Enisa is headquartered in Crete, which some have suggested makes the agency rather isolated in Europe.
"I am confident that the European Parliament, in the context of the on-going legislative process, is ready and able to come up with solutions to improve efficiency and attractiveness of the agency," she added.
"We are prepared to consider any improvement in a modified proposal before the Council adopts its common position."
Around a year ago, Kroes first announced her intention to extend Enisa's mandate to 2017, and broaden its remit.
In the speech, Kroes also reiterated her plans to put in place "robust lines of defence against online attacks and disruptions" by 2015, including a child protection strategy fit for the internet age and an identity management framework.
"We believe that only an all-encompassing pan-European framework for electronic identification, authentication and signature [PEFIAS] would bring the necessary coherence to secure electronic transactions and boost user confidence," she said.
"Therefore, in the second quarter of next year, I will present legal measures so citizens and businesses can use their eID to access online services; and a proposal to revise the eSignature Directive."
Jason Hart, managing director of authentication firm Cryptocard, argued that although eID is an important initiative, more needs to be known about how access to the relevant services is going to be secured.
"Too often where programs like this fall short is that they rely on static security methods, making them an easy target," he added.
"The EC must be able to validate that the user logging on is who they say they are. This makes robust authentication absolutely key. If users don't trust that the system is secure, they won't use it."
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