BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Growing cyber crime has spurred proposals to strengthen the European Union’s specially dedicated security agency and set up a fund to help countries who suffer such attacks.
An increase in ransomware attacks such as this year’s WannaCry worm that locked up more than 200,000 computers around the world has convinced the European Commission to act.
The European Union’s executive proposed on Wednesday a common plan to coordinate the bloc’s response in case of a large-scale attack and a cyber security emergency response fund.
“Our initiatives strengthen cooperation and coordination so that Europe tackles them (cyber security challenges) together,” Andrus Ansip, Commission Vice-President for the digital single market said in a statement.
The revamped cyber security agency would work on annual pan-European exercises and contribute to the improvement of EU and national public authorities’ capabilities and expertise.
The Commission also proposed a Cybersecurity Research and Competence Centre to gather expertise and support new technologies, such as assessing encryption methods.
The proposal includes an EU certification framework to evaluate the cyber security level of products and services.
While the industry applauded the push for greater cyber security measures, it expressed caution on certification.
”We caution against the development of a regional EU scheme as this would do little to raise Europe’s cyber resilience,” said Thomas Boue, Director General for Policy in EMEA at BSA, the software companies’ trade association that represents the likes of Adobe, Apple and Microsoft.
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