The war in Ukraine has demonstrated the fundamental role the digital domain will play in future international conflicts, and how widely the impacts of malicious cyber actors can be felt across different industries, sectors, and borders. Destructive cyber-attacks, often combined with kinetic strikes, by Russian government-backed actors targeted far more than just Ukrainian government and military entities, expanding their scope to include critical infrastructure, utilities and public services, and the media and information space too. These attacks have highlighted the need to address cybersecurity risk and bolster the resilience of critical infrastructure around the world.

The power of international cooperation and partnership to support collective defence and more resilient cybersecurity has been a significant factor in ensuring Ukraine has been able to continue to provide essential services to its citizens. Almost immediately, industry and governments around the world mobilized to provide cybersecurity assistance to Ukraine. Recently, European Union (EU) support was formalized via a cyber cooperation agreement in November 2023 between the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and Ukraine’s National Cybersecurity Coordination Centre (NCCC).

The war shows how enhanced and wider international cooperation can enable a more robust and resilient global cybersecurity ecosystem, while ensuring the sovereignty of nation under attack. As the largest trading bloc globally, the EU has established a foundation of cybersecurity policy and certifications – some voluntary, some binding. The EU’s legislative focus has only expanded to address emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

The passage of the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA) and the AI Act, as well as the upcoming elections, offer the EU an opportunity to establish a new vision for collective digital resilience. As the EU is confronted with new cybersecurity and technology risks maintaining focus on working toward a more secure and resilient European cyber landscape is paramount. Creating greater digital resilience requires those tasked with advancing the EU’s future safety and prosperity to implement necessary policies without siloing Europe from the global cyber ecosystem.

A roadmap to ensure Europe’s collective digital resilience in the years ahead should seek to incorporate the following factors:

  1. Strengthen the Cybersecurity Ecosystem
  2.  Promote International Partnerships, Interoperability, & Regulatory Alignment
  3.  Adopt a Future-Focused Approach to Policymaking

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