Complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) related to cybercrime in 2020 increased 182 percent compared to 2019, said the Minister of State and Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva.

“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.

The minister added that “reports of cyber attacks directed at essential services such as health communities that paralyse the provision of public services and cause considerable disturbances in the functioning of societies”.

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

“The strategy also highlights the difficulty in training and retaining highly specialised professionals with advanced skills in cybersecurity, as well as the need to make greater use of structural funds and other financing instruments to promote digital resilience”.

Although Portugal has a national cyberspace security strategy that enshrines “several lines of action for training and raising awareness in cybersecurity”, Mariana Vieira da Silva said that it is work that needs to be “deepened”.

Mariana Vieira da Silva also recalled the process of creating a “European Centre 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 “particularly favourable” conditions to promote the development of advanced skills in cybersecurity.

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”.