EU to Launch Bloc-wide Rapid Response Joint Cyber Unit

The task force is quite similar to Washington’s ransomware task force, but the EU’s version will coordinate with authorities across the bloc.
EU to Launch Bloc-wide Rapid Response Joint Cyber Unit

The task force is quite similar to Washington’s newly proposed ransomware task force, but the EU’s version will coordinate current work between cyber agencies/authorities across the bloc.

The European Union (EU) plans to set up a new cybersecurity task force to respond to cyberattacks across the bloc. Called the Joint Cyber Unit, the task force will help member states who suffer cyberattacks seek help from countries within the EU. Moreover, rapid response teams will be deployed to deal with hackers in real-time.

The Backstory

This decision comes in response to the increasing threat of cyberattacks plaguing the entire continent. Earlier this year, the first death due to a ransomware attack was reported when a hospital in Berlin was targeted.

The plan is still in its draft phase, but it aims to combine the cybersecurity powers and expertise of all the states within the bloc. In 2019, the EU discussed a central cyber unit to stop cyberattacks that may compromise EU agencies, institutions, and organizations.

ENISA Might Become the Unit’s In-charge

The unit, according to Politico, may be supervised by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA). Details of the new task force will be unveiled on Wednesday, which will merely be recommendations to different governments for making ENISA in charge of this task force and that it should be headquartered in Brussels. 

The task force is quite similar to Washington’s newly proposed ransomware task force, but the EU’s version will coordinate current work between cyber agencies/authorities across the bloc.

Details of the Plan

The upcoming plan aims to set up a platform for cyber agencies, cybercrime police, diplomats, cybersecurity firms, and military services to coordinate responses and share their resources to counter the threat. Its responsibilities will include:

  • Preparing/testing crisis response measures.
  • Maintaining threat reports.
  • Setting up information-sharing agreements between private cybersecurity firms and authorities.
  • Announcing risk analysis of the Open RAN 5G networks’ security. 

Hopefully, the unit will be fully operational by the end of 2022.

Expert comment

In a conversation with Hackread.com, Nominet‘s government cybersecurity expert Steve Forbes said that “It’s very welcoming news that the European Commission is intending to announce plans for a Joint Cyber Unit.”

“The new effort includes rapid response teams ready to be deployed in the instance of an attack, as well as a game-changing platform for collaboration across the European Union, including intelligence, resources and expertise. This is exactly what’s needed to stem the tide against attacks that are only becoming more brazen and sophisticated,” Steve noted.

Steve believes that “The new cyber unit will set a powerful precedent for international collaboration as central to our future global cyber defence.”

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