EU proposes a Joint Cyber Unit for large-scale security incidents
The European Commission has outlined a vision to build a new Joint Cyber Unit to tackle the rising number of serious cyber incidents impacting public services, as well as the life of businesses and citizens across the European Union.
The European Commission says that all relevant actors in the EU need to be prepared to respond collectively and exchange relevant information on a ‘need to share', rather than only ‘need to know', basis. This follows cyber attacks increasing in number, scale and consequence.
First announced by President Ursula von der Leyen in her political guidelines, the Joint Cyber Unit aims at bringing together resources and expertise available to the EU and its Member States to effectively prevent, deter and respond to mass cyber incidents and crises. Cyber security communities, including civilian, law enforcement, diplomatic and cyber defence communities, as well as private sector partners, too often operate separately. With the Joint Cyber Unit, they will have a virtual and physical platform of cooperation: relevant EU institutions, bodies and agencies together with the Member States will build progressively a European platform for solidarity and assistance to counter large-scale cyber attacks.
The participants will be asked to provide operational resources for mutual assistance within the Joint Cyber Unit, with the unit allowing them to share best practice, as well as information in real time on threats that could emerge in their respective areas. It will also work at an operational and at a technical level to deliver the EU Cybersecurity Incident and Crisis Response Plan, based on national plans; establish and mobilise EU Cybersecurity Rapid Reaction Teams; facilitate the adoption of protocols for mutual assistance among participants; establish national and cross-border monitoring and detection capabilities, including Security Operation Centres (SOCs); and more.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: "Cyber security is a cornerstone of a digital and connected Europe. And in today's society, responding to threats in a coordinated manner is paramount. The Joint Cyber Unit will contribute to that goal. Together we can really make a difference.”