THE EUROPEAN UNION has appointed Dr Udo Helmbrecht as the executive director of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA).
Helmbrecht was born in Germany in 1955 and since 2003 has been president of the Federal Office for Information Security in Bonn.
"I am very pleased, privileged and humbled to have gained the Management Board's trust to become the Executive Director of ENISA. I proudly and readily assume this position, working for Europe," he said.
Helmbrecht wants to help the EU cyber-security outfit work more closely with other related European institutions and Member States to enhance electronic security throughout the region.
He also wants to ensure that ENISA lives beyond its current 2012 'sunset clause' by creating a permanent mandate for the organisation.
"The clear and permanent mandate is necessary to manage the increasing, fundamental role of security for economic and financial matters; for business and consumers alike," he said.
"Ultimately, the economy of Europe is at stake if we do not manage security matters properly and adequately. At the same time, we should promote the benefits of security to the citizens, so they gain trust in the advantages of information and communication technology to safely enjoy life in cyber space."
Helmbrecht did not go into any specific details around hot topics such as electronic border surveillance and monitoring or cyber-warfare, but he called for "more cooperation and dialogue with all security stakeholders."
He concluded by stressing that ENISA should be a trusted, independent body able to dispense "expert advice in security matters" and a key part of the European Parliament's security decision making process.
"The Agency's advice should have a lasting impact on the laws and regulation of the Commission and the Member States," he said. µ
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