European Commission To Invest €1.8 Bn In Cybersecurity Research

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 08, 2016

European Commission In a bid to tackle the growing menace of cyber crimes, the European Commission has announced the launch of a public-private partnership on the development of cybersecurity technologies. The move is expected to trigger €1.8 billion of investment by 2020. The partnership is intended boost cross-border research into cybersecurity, and to aid development of security products and services for the energy, health, transport and finance industries. 

This is part of a series of new initiatives to better equip Europe against cyber-attacks and to strengthen the competitiveness of its cybersecurity sector. The commission has sought a contribution from the industry. 

According to a recent survey, at least 80 percent of European companies have experienced at least one cybersecurity incident over the last year and the number of security incidents across all industries worldwide rose by 38 percent in 2015. This damages European companies, whether they are big or small, and threats to undermine trust in the digital economy.

As part of its Digital Single Market strategy the Commission also wants to reinforce cooperation across borders, and between all actors and sectors active in cybersecurity, and to help develop innovative and secure technologies, products and services throughout the EU, the official press release reads. 

The action plan includes the launch of the first European public private partnership on cybersecurity. The EU will invest €450 millionin this partnership, under its research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. Cybersecurity market players, represented by the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO), are expected to invest three times more. 

This partnership will also include members from national, regional and local public administrations, research centres and academia. The aim of the partnership is to foster cooperation at early stages of the research and innovation process and to build cybersecurity solutions for various sectors, such as energy, health, transport and finance. Commissioner Oettinger today signs the partnership with the ECSO in Strasbourg.

The Commission also sets out different measures to tackle the fragmentation of the EU cybersecurity market. Currently an ICT company might need to undergo different certification processes to sell its products and services in several Member States. The Commission will therefore look into a possible European certification framework for ICT security products.

A myriad of innovative European SMEs have emerged in niche markets (e.g. cryptography) and in well-established markets with new business models (e.g. antivirus software), but they are often unable to scale up their operations. The Commission wants to ease access to finance for smaller businesses working in the field of cybersecurity and will explore different options under the EU investment plan.

The Network and Information Security Directive has already creates a network of Computer Security Incident Response Teams across the EU in order to rapidly react to cyber threats and incidents. It also establishes a ‘Cooperation Group’ between Member States, to support and facilitate strategic cooperation as well as the exchange of information, and to develop trust and confidence. 


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