European Commission Proposes Joint Cyber Unit

The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a new cyber unit that would collectively respond to rising cyber attacks across the continent.

The proposal hopes to have the group operational by 30 June 2022 and fully established within a year.

The Joint Cyber Unit “aims at bringing together resources and expertise available to the European Union (EU) and its member states to effectively prevent, deter and respond to mass cyber incidents and crises,” a commission statement read.

Common Platform Against Cyber Attacks

The division will provide an EU-coordinated response against large-scale internet attacks. The detachment will also assist member states and institutions in recovery from such intrusions. 

“Cybersecurity is a cornerstone of a digital and connected Europe. And in today’s society, responding to threats in a coordinated manner is paramount. The Joint Cyber Unit will contribute to that goal. Together we can really make a difference,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age.

According to the statement, the unit is an “important step towards completing the European cybersecurity crisis management framework.”

The group is also an essential component of the “EU Cybersecurity Strategy and the EU Security Union Strategy, contributing to a safe digital economy and society.”

Unit Funding

Investment to set up the division will come from the European Commission Digital Europe Programme, according to the agency statement. 

The investment will cover “building physical and virtual platforms, establish and maintain secure communication channels, as well as improve detection capabilities.”

Resources for more long-term tasks such as developing the cyber-defense capabilities of member states will come from the European Defence Fund.

Recent Attacks

“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,” said Margaritis Schinas, Vice President for Promoting our European Way of Life.

“Today, we can no longer distinguish between online and offline threats. We need to pool all our resources to defeat cyber risks and enhance our operational capacity. Building a trusted and secure digital world, based on our values, requires commitment from all, including law enforcement.”

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