The European Commission has unveiled a €1.1bn plan to counter the escalating cybersecurity attack threat.
The move follows a series of high-profile hacking incidents, as well as the growing use of cyber warfare in Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.
The EC has adopted a proposal for the EU Cyber Solidarity Act to strengthen cybersecurity capacities and support the detection of cybersecurity threats and incidents. The Act also aims to bolster critical organisations’ preparedness, as well as reinforce member states’ solidarity, crisis management and response capabilities.
The legislation will create a “cybersecurity shield”: a pan-European infrastructure of national and cross-border security operations centres (SOCs). These will use state-of-the-art technology such as artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics to detect and share warnings on cyber threats and cross-border incidents. The EC has selected three consortia of cross-border SOCs, bringing together public bodies from 17 member states and Iceland. These could be operational by early 2024.
The Act also includes the creation of a “cyber emergency mechanism” to increase EU preparedness and enhance its incident response capabilities. It will support testing for potential vulnerabilities and create an EU Cybersecurity Reserve consisting of incident response services from trusted providers.
As part of the plan, the EU Cybersecurity Skills Academy will bring together private and public initiatives that aim to boost training and close the cybersecurity talent gap. This will be hosted on the EC’s Digital Skills and Jobs platform.