Recent ransomware attacks have led to the EU Commission proposing a Joint Cyber Unit. Advanced and coordinated responses in the field of cybersecurity have become increasingly necessary, as cyberattacks grow in number, scale and consequences, impacting heavily our security, the Commission said.
“Cybersecurity is a top priority of the Commission and a cornerstone of the digital and connected Europe. The increase of cyberattacks during the coronavirus crisis has shown how important it is to protect health and care systems, research centres and other critical infrastructure. Strong action in the area is needed to future-proof the EU’s economy and society”, the Commission said.
“All relevant actors in the EU need to be prepared to respond collectively and exchange relevant information on a ‘need to share’, rather than only ‘need to know’, basis.”
The Joint Cyber Unit will act as a platform to ensure an EU coordinated response to large-scale cyber incidents and crises, as well as to offer assistance in recovering from these attacks. Today, the EU and its Member States have many entities involved in different fields and sectors. While the sectors may be specific, the threats are often common – hence, the need for coordination, sharing of knowledge and even advance warning.
The participants will be asked to provide operational resources for mutual assistance within the Joint Cyber Unit. The aim is to ensure that the Joint Cyber Unit will move to the operational phase by 30 June 2022 and that it will be fully established one year later, by 30 June 2023.
“The recent ransomware attacks should serve as a warning that we must protect ourselves against threats that could undermine our security and our European Way of Life. Today, we can no longer distinguish between online and offline threats”, said Commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas.