“Last year [2020], in Portugal, complaints filed with the Attorney General's Office, related to cybercrime increased by 182 percent”, declared Mariana Vieira da Silva, at the opening session of “C Days - Cybersecurity 2021”, an event that took place between 14 and 16 June, at Alfândega do Porto.

The minister, who was not present at the opening session, but attended virtually, added that “reports of cyber attacks directed at essential services such as health communities that paralyze the provision of public services and cause considerable problems in the functioning of societies”.

The government official argued that the development of skills in cybersecurity should be in the "focus of action by public entities", but also in "private sector organizations", and recalled that Portugal has "difficulty in training and retaining highly specialized professionals with advanced skills in cybersecurity”.

"The strategy execution reports also highlight the difficulty in training and keeping highly specialized professionals with advanced skills in cybersecurity, as well as the need for greater use of structural funds and other financing instruments to promote digital resilience and transformation for Small and Medium Enterprises”.

During the session, Mariana Vieira da Silva also recalled the process of creating a “European Center for Technological Industrial Skills and Research in Cyber ​​Security that was concluded during the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, recalling that Portugal currently has the necessary conditions to promote the development of advanced skills in cybersecurity and to put “better technical knowledge available at the service of strengthening the capacity of companies and public administration”.

According to the minister, the European Center will be responsible for “implementing a European cybersecurity agenda” and for managing “funding in the areas of R&D and the training of people and companies, supported by a network of national coordination centres”.