EU Remains Unprotected From Cyber Attacks

Vice president of the European Commission and Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes has claimed the EU has not done enough to secure its internet-connected infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Kroes, during a video presentation at InfoSecurity Europe 2012, called for a European-wide cyber security strategy, in which all organisations and individuals share information and coordinate to protect systems.

“Online attacks could pose a significant risk to critical systems. Yet so far we have not done enough to protect ourselves. That’s worrying,” Kroes said.

Threats come from various sources and across boarders… the solution isn’t simple, but internet security cannot be left to the traditional instruments.”

Fresh vision

Kroes said the “new vision” would see centralised information centres to share with partners, as well as a single forum to support them. These forums would also facilitate discussions on best practice, whilst the recently-announced Cyber Security Centre could help with European- wide cooperation, she added.

“Research on its own isn’t enough. We need to seamlessly bring bright ideas to market. We need more transfer in the security market. “Internet sec is not a problem that’s going to go away.”

There have been a number of moves amongst European bodies to establish controls over data that cover all member states. The European Cybercrime Centre is due for launch in early January. It will form part of Europol and based out of The Hague. Back in 2010, the EC had committed to establishing an EU-wide anti-cybercrime force.

In March, a proposed directive to enforce a minimum two-year jail sentence for hacking into systems got the backing of 50 votes to one at the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee.

There’s also the proposed EU Data Protection Framework, which would see companies obliged to admit to a security breach within 24 hours, alongside fines of as much as two percent of a company’s annual turnover. Yet many have complained that the EU proposals are too severe, potentially harming businesses unnecessarily.