European Commission President Jean-Cluade Junkcer has proposed strengthening the EU's network security agency Enisa to create a new 'European Cybersecurity Agency', in order to better coordinate the EU response to cybersecurity threats, according Telecompaper. The announcement in his 'State of the Union' address was accompanied by a proposal for a new regulation called the 'Cybersecurity Act'. Jucker said greater defence is needed, as "cyber-attacks can be more dangerous to the stability of democracies and economies than guns and tanks". This was seconded by Digital Single Market commissioner Andrus Ansip, who said "nobody can address major cyber threats alone". 

In addition to strengthening Enisa to act as an EU centre for cybersecurity coordination and expertise, the EC proposed an EU-wide certification of products and services for cybersecurity to ensure high standards and raise user confidence for instance in IoT devices, and more efforts to promote "cyber-hygiene", in order to minimise incidents caused by human error. A network of excellence centres and a European Cybersecurity Research and Competence Centre are also planned. 

Key to Enisa's new tasks would be implementing the Network and Information Security Directive (NIS), the EU's first major piece of cybersecurity legislation that was passed last year. The agency would also take responsibility for the security certification of new products brought on the EU market and act as coordinator in the event of a multi-country cybersecurity crisis. 

Started in 2003 and based in Greece, Enisa already works as an information centre on network security policy, helping member states share best practices. Its mandate was extended in 2013 for another seven years, and the agency received additional tasks with the NIS directive. Earlier this year the Commission started a review of the agency's strategy, and the resulting new proposal is to make Enisa a permanent body with increased resources to support the cybersecurity coordination. 

The proposals were welcomed by Enisa in a statement. Ansip said more details on the plans will be provided at an EC presentation planned for 19 September.