Infosecurity Europe 2013 saw security business leaders debate the value of proposed single European data breach laws, which might come in place if EU countries agree.
Daniele Cattedu, managing director EMEA at the Cloud Security Alliance said the draft legislation published last year was ‘very bad', and said that it was trying to force data breach laws and principles which were very difficult to apply.
"There are a number of points where regulators are trying to take the jobs of technical experts. There are statements which are crazy. Thinking about imposing a 24 or 48 hour time for reporting an incident just isn't right. It would be impossible to enforce."
Cattedu said companies were less willing to share crucial security information if there wasn't any trust, and that a voluntary rather than mandatory scheme would be much more effective.
However, Steve Wright, global privacy officer at Unilever, disagreed. Coming from a background where regulation was ever-present, he believed that left to their own devices, companies would stick their head in the sand.
"Coming from a position where I'm trying to get a board to invest millions of pounds in a programme, I need help, and personally, I welcome the legislation that's coming down,” he said.
"I've designed a whole strategy at Unilever around that new legislation. We're very much working on a timeframe where we need to be compliant by 2014. We'll be in a position to be ready for that new legislation. Fundamentally, there's something here about trust and transparency which I agree with."