When Americans think about the European Union, they often think about regulation, and government oversight, and a “nanny state” kind of ethos, whereby citizens get both support and guidance from a central government source.
The simplified contrast is that Europeans live in a comfortable government cradle, where across the Atlantic in the U.S., it’s “every man for himself,” and individuals often take great pride in their own resourcefulness and rugged individuality.
That stark contrast is borne out, with more subtlety, in many areas of modern business – and one is cybersecurity.
Europe United Against Cyber Attacks
Most E.U. citizens with a hand in e-commerce or online business will be aware of the European Digital Single Market initiative. Begun within the last decade, the Digital Single Market (DSM) is aimed at providing the same kinds of overarching laws and standards for digital enterprise that the E.U. is famous for instituting in its open-air fruit markets.
However, along with its B2C standards and other playing field rules, the DSM does profoundly contemplate the issue of cybersecurity. In fact, E.U. experts call cybersecurity a “pillar” of this cross-border plan to unify European e-commerce.
“The aim is to bring cybersecurity capabilities at the same level of development in all the E.U. Member States … including at cross-border level.” reads a DSM resource. “Europe needs to be more ambitious in nurturing its competitive advantage in the field of cybersecurity to ensure that European citizens, enterprises (including SMEs), public administrations have access to the latest digital security technology, which is interoperable, competitive, trustworthy and respects fundamental rights including the right to privacy.”
As a disclaimer to this heady stuff, many Europeans would admit that the DSM faces strong headwinds and continues to grapple with issues such as language barriers and cross-border sales obstacles.
By contrast, most of the literature put out by the U.S. government on digital markets tends to be prescriptive, as in standard U.S. Small Business Administration and Federal Trade Commission resources for new businesses that mostly offer advice, as in this SBA guide with subheadings like “Protecting Your Customer’s Privacy” and “Identity Theft – Business Owner’s Responsibilities.”
The Role of the United States in the Digital Single Market
Meanwhile, Europe is determined not just to battle cybercrime within its borders, but to reach out to a greater coalition of nations to try to strengthen digital networks against attack – and of course, this includes working directly with leaders in the U.S. A European Commission resource lays out a plan for a European Agenda on Security for the period 2015-2020, and talks about how E.U. leaders wish to collaborate with others to fight cybercrime, albeit as part of a greater move to respond to things like terror threats.
However, in describing the struggle that faces businesses and governments online, E.C. Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos describes the true Hegelian nature of the thing, as quoted:
“There can be no security without freedom, and at the same time there can be no freedom without security.”
Despite strong national differences, business leaders in both hemispheres understand that government cannot fully protect business from harm, and that, in a world where cyberthreats are proliferating quickly, and diversifying with frightening sophistication, it’s up to executives and top management to secure networks.
The Common Denominator
SentinelOne is a leader in helping CEOs and others to come to terms with the realities of digital business in the twenty-first century. Offering pre-emptive threat assessment tools and endpoint security solutions, SentinelOne armors clients with what they need to survive in an always-connected, data-centric trade environment.
Companies are recognizing that they need a trove of customer data, automated supply chains, product and service development software and much more, but they also know that they need cutting-edge analytical security systems that can work on the basis of identifying threats deep in a network. Look to SentinelOne for the kinds of effective, state of the art security that businesses need, not just for cross-border selling, but for nearly any kind of online business or e-commerce.