Minister of Housing and Communications Krista Kiuru at the National Seminar on ENISA, 7 Feb. 2013

Minister of Housing and Communications Krista Kiuru at the National Seminar on ENISA, 7 Feb. 2013

Dear participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm pleased to speak in front of an audience full of enthusiasm towards cyberspace. The term cyber is nowadays on everyone's lips but actually we shouldn't consider it as something mystical or formerly unknown. Cyber security equals network and information security in information society. I'm going to give you a brief overview of the reasons why we need to take action to ensure a well-functioning cyberspace for everyone. I will also tell you about a few important milestones, recently achieved in the area of cyberspace. I will then go on to give you a few examples of what we in Finland have done in order to achieve a trustworthy information society which enables all citizens, businesses and authorities innovative ways to act in the modern world.

As we all know, Cyberspace has become an irreplaceable part of our everyday life. It enables us to exercise our different activities and our fundamental rights and liberties. For example cyber space is necessary for us to be able exercise our freedom of expression and freedom of speech in the 21th century. Trustworthy cyberspace is also an important enabler for creating jobs, innovation, economic growth and competitiveness.

The very first thing we need to do, is to ensure that every citizen, company and authority has an access to communications services that are affordable, high-quality and trustworthy. For example, Finland was the first country in the world to declare broadband Internet access a subjective right. The right to a 1 -megabit per second internet connection was included in the universal service in 2009. And we are currently examining whether the universal service connection could be increased to 10 megabits. One enabler of this is the ongoing 800 MHz frequency auction for mobile broadband. As citizens and enterprises continue to have faster and faster internet connections, it is important to acknowledge that they must also be aware of how to safely use internet in their every-day life.

Finland issued its first national information security strategy as early as ten years ago, and this strategy was renewed in 2008. It was drawn up and implemented in close dialogue together with all stakeholders, especially the private sector. As a continuation to this, the Finnish Government has set ambitious goals in regards to cyber security. A Government resolution on Cyber Strategy was adopted on January 24. The strategy includes 10 guidelines. One of them is that a combined situation awareness function, Centre of Cyber Security, will be established at FICORA, based on its present CERT-FI functionality. The vision is that Finland becomes a global leader in cyber security by 2016.

At the technical level, we have a well-functioning CERT in Finland. Based on long tradition of close cooperation between public and private sectors, it primarily supports private sectors stakeholders in taking care on their networks and computers. I personally believe that there is still a lot more that our CERT can offer to the Finnish authorities and to our public sector as a whole.

In Finland we have striven to implement cyber security practises in the private and public sectors, and to bring in to the daily lives of our citizens, too. One example of this is the annual national "Information Security Day", organised by FICORA, the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority. This year's event was held only recently, on Tuesday this week. This year the traditional information security day has been extended to a Media Skills Week and actually it is underway as we speak.

In Finland our strength has been the close cooperation between the public and private stakeholders. This is important due to the fact that most of the digital infrastructures and services are provided and consumed by the private sector. Different stakeholder's possibilities to understand, detect, and to react to different failures and breaches in their ICT systems should be strengthened. There is a need to promote everyone's understanding and know-how on the ways to use digital infrastructure and services safely.

But cyber security is not only a matter of technology. We must build up a better understanding of how all of our society's vital functions are dependent on the well-functioning and undisruptive digital technologies and services. In order to achieve this, there is a need for more understanding and skills as well as better risk management and better situation awareness within each and every stakeholder that keeps up a certain vital function in society.

European Strategy for Cyber Security is to be published any day naw. It is of extreme importance to ensure a high level of network and information security in Europe. Efforts towards this should continuously be made at all levels, including the national, EU and international levels. ENISA has a very important role in implementing this strategy; the agency is the EU's strategic tool. I believe that you will hear more about this today.

I am very happy to inform you that the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament in their third and final trialogue reached on 29 of January tentative agreement and approved the new mandate for ENISA. However, some formal decisions still have to be made.

We Finns are motivated to enhance cyber security and support ENISA in its important mission. Finland considers ENISA's role in producing cyber security information, supporting CERT activities in all EU countries and organising exercises to be very important. We are even ready to deepen this cooperation.

Today cyber security is mainly discussed within the ICT-sector and specialists. But is this enough? All areas of life, together with the authorities and private companies, are more than ever dependent on cyberspace. Banking services and shopping possibilities are vital to both citizens and businesses and they are produced more than before in the digital environment. What should be done for that? Could we broaden responsibility of cyber security to all sectors of our society? Could we enhance legislation so that, in addition to telecom operators, all other sectors should have responsibility to inform about denials of service, data trespasses and other type of incidents towards their ICT infrastructure?

The objective of this seminar is to inform about ENISA's activities and add it's visibility in Finland. ENISA has done great work during the past few years, for example, in supporting EU Member States setting up national CERT's. It's extremely good that ENISA, too, highlights the importance of public-private partnership. As current and future challenges related to cyber security can not be confined within the national borders, there is an ever increasing need for wide-ranging international co-operation. ENISA is a perfect body to tackle these challenges throughout Europe and the whole world. Cyber security is as strong as its weakest link. Finland fully supports Prof. Helmbrecht and ENISA in their important task to make the world safer in the area of cyber security.

Dear participants and distinguished experts,

I wish you all an interesting and informative seminar and many fruitful discussions on promoting a productive, well-functioning and reliable cyber space. Thank you!