Minimise the virtual attack surface and strengthen Europe’s digital sovereignty. Gregor Peter, Technical Solution Engineer at Myra Security GmbH talks about how this can be achieved in an interview.
Mr Peter, the declared aim of the current EU Commission is to secure Europe’s “technological sovereignty” and digital sovereignty. Why is this topic so important?
Digital sovereignty is an important component of security policy and must be perceived so by the state, the industry and society.
Essentially, digital sovereignty is the possibility of independent digital self-determination. This means, above all, maintaining our scope for design and innovation and avoiding one-sided dependencies at the international level. From the entrepreneur’s point of view, ensuring this freedom requires primarily the courage to actively shape international technology standards through one’s own research and development. This is the only way to create key technologies, business models and digital ecosystems in line with European quality, security and data protection criteria.
Digital sovereignty also means technological sovereignty. The more digital companies from the European Union are taken into account in the awarding of contracts, the stronger the EU’s position as a technology location becomes. Research and development are fundamentally linked to a healthy economy; close cooperation between business, research and the state benefits all stakeholders. Those who can secure the most capable digital talent on a permanent basis need not shy away from international comparison.
What criteria for IT security and data protection are particularly desirable against this background and how are they implemented?
At Myra, we develop and operate according to the guiding principle of “security by design” – this is the method I would like to see as an industry standard for European IT. We understand security by design to mean addressing security-relevant problem areas in digital business processes on an equal footing, whether these concern software, hardware or the users in front of the screen. Only those who take IT security into account for all active players in the process can keep the virtual attack surface as small as possible.
In this regard, we are pursuing a strategy similar to which has been successfully used in aviation for decades. Here, too, companies check every last component of an aircraft for safety, while instructors prepare pilots and crew for every conceivable emergency situation. The perfect interaction between humans and machines shapes the basis for the fact that air transport today is considered the safest means of transport of all. In order to transfer this claim to IT, seamless programmes, tamper-proof hardware and trained users are required. In practice, this is called security by design.
Data protection is often seen as a stumbling block. Do the strict compliance requirements in Europe mean a competitive disadvantage in international comparison?
Europe has a unique tool to protect sensitive personal data with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The rules and regulations have become a symbol of consistent data protection and data integrity at the international level, and many countries are taking them as a model. Viewed against this background, I see the high data protection requirements in this country as a seal of quality. Anyone who relies on European providers can rest assured that their data will be processed with the utmost care, without sacrificing performance or functionality.
There are countless digital companies in the EU whose products and services are on par with international competition. One can easily speak of hidden champions here, who currently still lack name recognition or media presence compared to the well-known digital giants from overseas. I am committed to making up this shortfall.
Mr Peter, thank you very much for the interview.
Gregor Peter is a Technical Solution Engineer at Myra Security GmbH, a leading provider of IT security solutions.
As part of Internet Security Days (ISD) 2022, Paul Kaffsack, Co-Founder & CEO Myra Security will deliver the opening keynote speech on Thursday, 29 September: ‘IT Security “Made in Europe” – Why it pays to look to Europe’. Register now and be there live!