EU Commission establishes contractual public-private partnership for cyber security

On 5 July 2016, as part of its strategy for a digital single market, the European Commission (EC) agreed on a contractual public-private partnership for cyber security (cPPP), which shall mobilise €1.8 billion in investments by 2020.
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This partnership is one of several new initiatives being taken in order to better arm Europe against cyberattacks and to strengthen the competitiveness of the European cyber security sector with innovative and secure technologies, products and services. According to a study conducted by PWC, at least 80 percent of European companies were involved in a cyber incident during 2015. The number of security incidents worldwide rose by 38 percent. In light of the resultant damage for small and large companies, and the loss of confidence in the digital economy, the EC wants to further extend its cyber security measures.

Catalogue of measures

The cPPP programme is expected to an investment of €450 million within the scope of the European research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The stakeholders operating in the cyber security market, who are represented by the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO), shall invest three times this amount. The objectives of this partnership are greater cooperation in the early stages of the research and innovation process as well as the development of cyber security solutions for sectors such as energy, healthcare, transport and finance.

  • The EC plans to ease access for smaller companies working in the field of cyber security to funding, and will thus sound out various possibilities of achieving this within the scope of the EU investment plan.
  • Following the adoption of the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems on 6 July 2016, the development of a European network of Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) shall now begin, so that cyber threats and cyber incidents can be rapidly reacted to. In addition, the Directive will create a “cooperation group” between Member States which shall support and facilitate strategic cooperation and the exchange of information and contribute to building trust.
  • Furthermore, the EC will submit proposals for the expansion of the cross-border cooperation in the event of a large-scale cyber incident.
  • In view of the speed at which the cyber security situation is currently developing, the EC will additionally pull forward its review of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA). This will review whether the ENISA’s mandate and its level of resources in respect of the fulfilment of its remit – namely to assist the European Member States in raising their defence capabilities in cyberspace – is still appropriate.
  • Furthermore, the EC will examine how the cooperation between different economic sectors can be intensified and streamlined, also in respect to education and further training in the area of cyber security.

More information on cyber security can be found here.

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