Lords: Boost funding to fight cyber-crime
The EU must act quickly to improve cyber defences across all member states because overall security "depends on the weakest link" – a committee in the UK's House of Lords has said.
Although it described the European Commission's current strategy as sensible, practical and achievable, the committee said that extra funding would be needed for the proposed Cybercrime Centre, which will be established by 2013. The Lords recommended that rather than create a new agency, Europol should be given overall responsibility.
This year EU institutions themselves have been the target of a number of cyber-attacks. The carbon emissions trading scheme was closed down for three months following cyber-attacks, while the commission was targeted in March. Since then email security has been tightened and staff use security tokens which generate secondary passwords to log on to their accounts.
A new Computer Emergency Response team is being set up to deal with attacks on all EU institutions. It will coordinate and share intelligence with similar teams in individual member states.
But there remains too much bureaucracy surrounding the strategy, the Lords reported. Lord Hannay of Chiswick said that European cooperation was important because "the security of the UK does not begin or end at the water's edge".
"The government should support the commission in taking forward its proposals," he continued. "In particular it must recognise the need for additional funding for the new Cybercrime Centre, and help other member states and the EU institutions in improving their own cyber-security, since all are interdependent, and overall security depends on the weakest link."