Feeds

EC slams national cybercrime responses as inadequate

Super regulator back on the agenda?

Website security in corporate America

The European Commission has launched a consultation on how it can strengthen the European Union's response to computer attacks. The Commission is canvassing views ahead of a debate early next year about an EU-wide coordination of computer security.

A statement from the Commission said that responses to cyber-attacks from individual countries were inadequate and that countries must act together to ensure that information and networks are safe for users.

The Commission is holding an online consultation until January next year, when the results will be used to determine whether a coordinated policy will form a part of planned telecoms law reforms.

"Network and information security challenges will require a strong, coordinated European response," said the Commission statement. "Recent cyber-attacks targeting individual countries have shown that one country on its own can be very vulnerable."

In 2004 the Commission established the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) to advise on and publicise the problems of network and information security. But after a 2007 Commission investigation found ENISA's impact to be "below expectations", it proposed transferring security concerns to a new telecoms regulator.

The Commission's plans for a super-regulator, though, were dashed earlier this year by the European Parliament, which has instead backed a scaled-down EU telecoms regulator which will still have to work with national regulators.

The Commission is now consulting on a possible EU-wide security policy. As part of the consultation it is asking if the EU should develop an 'incident response capability'. It said that such a capability could be "a key element of ensuring fast responses to cyber attacks and speedy recovery from disruptions", and asks respondents how that could be achieved.

Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding has asked the other two wings of EU government, the Parliament and the Council of Ministers early next year to have "an intense debate on Europe’s approach to network security and on how to deal with cyber-attacks, and to include the future of ENISA in those reflections".

The Commission's report into ENISA in 2007 said that "the Agency’s activities appear insufficient to achieve the high level of impacts and value added hoped for, and its visibility is below expectations.

"There are a number of problems that affect the ability of the Agency to perform at its best: they concern its organisational structure, the skills mix and the size of its operational staff, the remote location, and the lack of focus on impacts rather than on deliverables," said the report.

The Commission had wanted to fold ENISA into its super-regulator, but the Parliament proposed its own form of regulation and the Council extended ENISA's mandate from 2009 to 2012.

The Commission said that it was running its consultation to what a strengthened network and information security policy at EU level should tackle, and on the means to achieve those objectives.

Copyright © 2008, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.