The European Union wants to create a new unit to respond to cybercrimes, according to a draft of its plan seen by POLITICO.
The European Commission will propose on Wednesday a plan to establish a joint cyber unit that would allow national governments to seek assistance from other countries in the event of a major cyberattack.
The move comes after the European Union has been hit by a series of cyberattacks that have disrupted its financial and industrial sectors.
Most European Union countries face cyberattacks on their own, though some countries have better capabilities than others. The European Union’s plan aims to help countries pool the resources and expertise in cybersecurity of neighboring national governments to help fight against cybercrime. The plan would also establish a platform for cybercrime police, cyber agencies, diplomats, military services and cybersecurity firms to manage investigations and prosecutions. The new agency would also prepare and test response plans and procedures for handling cyber threats.
The EU Commission first announced plans to establish a Joint Cyber Unit to fight cybercrimes back in 2019. The plan to establish a European security system was delayed due to disagreements among member states over how to implement it.
Recently, a wave of cyberattacks has hit national and European Union institutions, and it forced governments to work together to prevent future attacks. Suffice to mention the European Medicines Agency, the Russia’s cyber attacks on Polish officials, espionage campaigns against several government officials including Belgium’s interior minister, and ransomware attacks on UK schools and hospitals in Ireland and France,
The Commission’s new unit to fight cybercrime would be overseen by ENISA. The new unit would coordinate efforts between national cyber agencies and authorities in the EU.
Several EU countries have already created joint cyber response under the EU’s defense cooperation scheme and worked together to protect elections and 5G infrastructure.
The Commission’s plan states that the unit should be fully operational by 2022, and that its operations should be carried out by the industry in the first half of 2023. The Commission is to publish a report on its progress in addressing the various threats to cyberspace.
The US Department of Homeland Security will announce on Wednesday its analysis of the security of 5G networks. It will also discuss the Open RAN model, which is an alternative to traditional end-to-end 5G networks provided by the end-to-end 5G kit suppliers like Huawei and Ericsson.