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European Unions Cyber Security Strategy

The European Commission announces Cybersecurity Srategy

The Cybersecurity plan An Open, Safe and Secure Cyberspace” – represents the EU’s comprehensive vision on how best to prevent and respond to cyber disruptions and attacks.

Thes strategy aims to protect the European values of freedom and democracy and enable the digital economy to safely grow. Specific actions include enhancing cyber resilience of information systems, reducing cyber crime and strengthening EU international cyber-security policy and cyber defence.

The Strategy highlights our concrete actions to drastically reduce cybercrime. Many EU countries are lacking the necessary tools to track down and fight online organised crime. All Member States should set up effective national cybercrime units that can benefit from the expertise and the support of the European Cybercrime Centre”, Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs said.

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission stated: “For cyberspace to remain open and free, the same norms, principles and values that the EU upholds offline, should also apply online. Fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law need to be protected in cyberspace. The EU works with its international partners as well as civil society and the private sector to promote these rights globally.”

The Cybersecurity Strategy identifies five priorities:

  • Achieving cyber resilience
  • Drastically reducing cybercrime
  • Developing cyber defence policy and capabilities related to the Common Security and Defence Policy
  • Developing the industrial and technological resources for cyber-security
  • Establishing a coherent international cyberspace policy for the European Union and promoting core EU values

The European Union has made key advances in better protecting citizens from online crimes, including establishing a European Cybercrime Centre, proposing legislation on attacks against information systems and launching a Global Alliance to fight child sexual abuse online.

In announcing the strategy, the European Commission recognised that previous efforts by the Commission and individual Member States have been too fragmented to deal with the growing threat of cybercrime, which are increasing in frequency and magnitude, becoming more complex and know no borders. 

Fast Facts about Cyber Crime

  • There are an estimated 150,000 computer viruses in circulation every day and 148,000 computers compromised daily (EU Cybersecurity Strategy)
  • Worldwide, cybercrime victims lose around €290 billion each year (Symantec)
  • Cybercrime profits are estimated at 750 billion per year (McAfee)
  • 38 % of EU internet users have changed their behaviour because of cyber-security concerns (Eurobarometer)
  • 89% of EU internet users avoid disclosing personal information online (Eurobarometer)
  • Only 26% of enterprises in the EU had a formally defined ICT security policy in 2012 (Eurostat)

Read the European Unions Cyber Security Policy.