EU shores up defences with cyber security team

Head of the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, has announced that the EU will set up a cyber defence taskforce.

The Computer Emergency Response Preconfiguration Team (CERT) will be made up of ten IT security experts from EU institutions to shore up defences against attacks made on EU bodies and agencies.

A one year trial will begin which is hoped to lead to a “full scale CERT for EU institutions” according to an announcement from Brussels.

The news follows a commitment in the Digital Agenda for Europe last year which made promises on establishing such a team.

It’s hoped that CERT will be able to respond to security incidents and cyber threats “on a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week basis”.

Further, with Kroes stating that cyber attacks are a “very real and ever-increasing threat”, there were also calls for all EU member states to set up their own CERTs.

Kroes wants this to lead to a EU-wide network of national and governmental CERTs by 2012 to tackle infrastructure threats.

Kroes mentioned the dangers of attacks which can “paralyse key infrastructure and cause huge long term damage”, something that the UK government could perhaps do with being reminded of with its rather laid back approach to security threats lately.

There have already been significant direct attacks on EU institutions this year, with a raid on the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme back in March which saw around $43 million of emissions allowances nabbed from national registries.

The news also comes as three suspected members of the Anonymous hacktivist collective were arrested in Spain in relation to a worldwide string of government and private company attacks.