Countries of the Eastern Partnership, like many other states around the world, have been the target of cyberattacks and other security incidents in recent years. EU4Digital’s recently published ‘Cybersecurity guidelines for the Eastern Partner countries’ explore the main obstacles and gaps to address, as well as the key challenges and recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity resilience in each of the partner countries.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) have become the main cause of growth in European markets. Opening the data and services between public administrations within and across borders, on the one hand, increases their efficiency and facilitates the free movement of businesses and citizens, but on the other hand, requires proper protection of all data and systems. Therefore, ensuring the security of information systems has become a key objective. With cyber threats constantly evolving and having a disastrous effect on data, it is essential to secure network and information systems to keep the online economy running and to ensure prosperity. To keep cyberspace open and stable there is also a growing need to protect the integrity and security of states and their citizens against malicious cyber activities.

Digitalisation is not a choice, but a necessity for businesses and economies. To make better use of the great opportunities offered by digital technologies, which do not know any borders, all states should have the same understanding of the measures and standards in providing security in these areas. They must work on a number of fronts to promote cyber resilience, which means they must develop and establish specific laws in the area of network security information, prepare an appropriate organisational and legal framework for the development of business in cyberspace, implement appropriate cybersecurity measures, understand the risk posed by cyber threats, and respond to cybersecurity attacks. As the importance of crossborder cooperation between countries and free movement of services is increasing daily, it is important to include and accompany the Eastern Partner countries in this transition as well.

The EU4Digital Facility has performed assessments on the readiness and capability of ensuring safety and security of the cyberspace across the region and ideas for improvement. The assessment describes the state of play in the implementation of cybersecurity policies and measures in the Eastern Partner countries. An additional attempt has been made to provide an overview of the current gaps and weaknesses of the state’s regulations, policies and security measures already implemented by the six Eastern Partner countries, and to determine the level of maturity of individual cybersecurity solutions in each country. Furthermore, the set of good practices and recommendations provided to Eastern Partner countries’ national authorities in the field of cybersecurity, will contribute to a stronger and resilient cyberspace among the partner countries and decrease the risk of disruption or failure of networks and information systems.

The published report can be found here.