Dirk Schilders: IT priorities at the Council of the European Union

Interview with Dirk Schilders, CIO at the EU Council General Secretariat.

The EU Council facilitates numerous meetings so that government ministers can take decisions about EU legislation. We spoke to Dirk Schilders, recently appointed CIO at the Council General Secretariat following nearly 10 years as HR Director at the Council. 

Earlier in his career, Dirk was HR director at AT&T and Belgacom, giving him a unique perspective on senior management across both the private and public sector. Dirk was also one of the panelists at the CIO Leadership Summit 2013. [Read more…]


Stricter cyber security rules for Europe: is privacy dead?

The EU is finalising legislation, requiring online businesses and organisations with online operations to report data and security breaches. The data breach notification requirement has been prepared for a while and similar measures exist for telecom since 2009. By taking the notification rules a – big – step further, the EU is including various online platforms where personal data are stored and used intensively.

The directive can touch many businesses and it goes beyond the expectations many in the industry that it would mainly cover organisations in industries such as finance. However, now social networks, e-commerce platforms, online banking systems, SaaS solutions (CRM, marketing, file sharing, etc.) and transactional platforms can all be affected. [Read more…]

financial services

Could technology drive Eurozone banking union?

By Jose A Martinez, head of sales & strategy, Finance Sector for EMEA and Latin America, BT

Over the past few months, significant progress has been made towards the creation of economic and monetary union in the EU. A substantial financial reform agenda is being implemented, fulfilling commitments made in the G20 in response to the financial crisis. The intention is to make financial institutions and markets more stable, more competitive and more resilient.

Everyone is in agreement that the long-term solution to the banking crisis lies in the creation of EU fiscal union, a banking union, or some kind of combination of both. But while the reform of the EU’s regulatory framework is essential, it will not in itself be enough. The ECB (European Central Bank) is addressing the Eurozone crisis through an interim buying of bonds. Further steps will also be needed to break the link between sovereign debt and bank debt and the vicious circle which has led to over €4.5 trillion of taxpayers’ money being used to rescue EU banks. [Read more…]


The new Data Protection Directive of the EU: a closer look

A look at the proposals for the EU’s Data Protection Directive.

The ‘ownership’ of personal data is a hot topic, certainly in this ‘social’ day and age. Recent data issues at some of the newest social phenomenons, such as Pinterest, further spark the debate on data protection and privacy.

It has become a daily debate and goes beyond social networks such as Facebook, online companies such as Google and online advertising practices such as behavioural targeting.

Data protection and privacy play in many areas. Sometimes it’s easy to work out who owns something; you walk into a shop, hand over some money and walk out with some goods. There is a clearly-defined moment when ownership of the goods passes from the shop to you. [Read more…]


The state of security: cyber threats and security issues in the EMEA

Aernout Reymer, the CSO of EMEA for BT, discusses the state of network security in the EMEA region.

When looking at the main security issues in the EMEA region, Aernout Reymer says that the issues he and his peers face in Europe regarding security are very familiar to the security community in other countries. Aernout: “On a daily basis, we’re faced with attacks carried out not only by those with a criminal-commercial agenda, but increasingly, by me-too activists looking to promote a cause, make a statement, or cause damage to reputations and profits.  Over the last nine months, this cyber threat has very much become a cyber reality, and I see no signs of it abating.”

What causes him particular concern is that the sophistication of the attacks is increasing and that the availability of online hacking tools, which make it easier for amateurs to carry out effective hacks, is, likewise, increasing. [Read more…]