European security agency up and running

The European network and information Security Agency ( ENISA ) should be up and running in the autumn according to one of the new organization's staff.

Michael Niebel, head of internet network and information security unit of the agency made the vow before delegates at the opening of the ISSE/ICCC conference in Berlin.

Niebel said the task of the agency will be to collect and analyse data on security incidents in Europe. Advise and assist the European Commission and the Member States on information security and raise awareness and co-operation among different players in the information security field.

The agency's new head Andrea Pirotti will be formally appointed on 6th October after which, hopes Niebel, Pirotti will then recruit further personnel. Pirotti is currently Vice President of Marconi Communications.

The supervisory board of the authority is led by a Finn, Kristiina Pietikainen, her deputy, Hungarian, is Ferenc Suba. There will also be a "Stakeholders Group" of IT and communications experts that will advise the agency on security matters.

The agency has a budget from €34.3 million for the next five years. According to Niebel this organisation will not be a "Super CERT" but will concentrate on collating information from different member states and companies and push "IT security higher up the European agenda".

The agency will also observe the development of industry standards but Niebel said it will not make standards itself.

ENISA will be based in Heraklion on the island of Crete.

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