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News :: European Network and Information Security Agency up and running

European Network and Information Security Agency up and running

(16/09/2004) The European Network Information and Security Agency (ENISA), now has its Executive Director, internal rules of procedure are in place, and a drive to recruit technical experts has just begun.

ENISA’s mission is to help deliver high EU-wide levels of security in electronic communications, and to build the "culture of security" necessary for the single market to deliver its full benefits to European citizens, consumers, enterprises and public sector bodies.

Technical experts will be appointed by Executive Director Mr Andrea Pirotti, in accordance with rules set out on the ENISA web site. The Management Board has also elected a Finn, Ms Kristiina Pietikainen, as its Chairperson, and a Hungarian, Mr Ferenc Suba, as its Vice-Chairperson. The proposal to establish ENISA was approved by the EU Council of Ministers and European Parliament in November 2003 (see IP/03/1577).

Recruitment of technical experts for ENISA’s operational tasks begins now, and the staff should be completed in the course of next year. After an initial setting-up period in Brussels, ENISA’s permanent seat will be in Heraklion (Greece).

Mr Pirotti, an Italian national, has been Vice-President of Marconi Communications since 2002. He joined Marconi in 1976, and set up various overseas companies in the Marconi communications group. He was also in charge of advanced technology projects for critical IT infrastructure, which involved managing and defining security policies and start-up activities, in Europe, Asia and Brazil.

Mr Pirotti was nominated by ENISA’s Management Board, from a list proposed by the Commission. He will be formally appointed after making a statement to the European Parliament and replying to MEPs’ questions on 6 October. Mr Pirotti will be assisted by a permanent stakeholder group and ad hoc working groups on scientific and technical matters.

Ms Pietikainen is director of an e-commerce and data security unit in the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications, and Mr Suba heads a department in Hungary’s Ministry of Informatics and Communications.

ENISA has a budget of € 34.3 million for five years, covering staff, administrative and technical support, infrastructure and operational expenses resulting from contracts with third parties. Its core tasks are to:

  1. collect and analyse data on security incidents in Europe and emerging risks,
  2. advise and assist the Commission and the Member States on information security and in their dialogue with industry to address security-related problems in hardware and software,
  3. promote risk assessment and risk management methods to enhance our capability to deal with information security threats, and
  4. raise awareness and co-operation among different actors in the information security field, notably by developing public / private partnerships in this field.

Further information on the ENISA website