Police forces and computer security incident response teams (CSIRTs) from across Europe this week gathered in The Hague for a two-day workshop on how they can improve cooperation and information sharing across borders.
The fifth Europol EC3/ENISA Workshop focussed on the establishment of a cross-border network that can facilitate better communication between law enforcement agencies and CSIRTs from EU member states.
Steven Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), told delegates: “Close cooperation and information sharing between Law Enforcement and the CSIRT community is the best way to ensure a safer cyberspace for European business and private citizens.
“This joint workshop is intended to explore better ways of working together to collectively tackle the cyber threat.”
Dr Steven Purser, Head of European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA)’s Core Operations Unit, commented: “Sharing information is a key activity in improving approaches to cybersecurity across the EU.
“However, the challenge is to link information to specific goals and to share the right information with the right people for the right purpose. Today’s workshop is a step in the right direction.”
The workshop took place after it was last month revealed that EU security experts have taken part in cyber war games designed to prepare the union for attacks that could knock out communications networks and disrupt power supplies.
Cyber Europe 2016, a seven-month exercise that ended in October, involved more than 300 organisations including government agencies, private online security firms and internet companies, along with EU institutions. The exercise looked at the threat posed to EU member states from a range of different of sources, including drones, mobile malware, the Internet of Things and cloud computing.
ENISA, which organised the exercise, said it painted “a very dark scenario inspired by events such as the blackout in a European Country over Christmas period and the dependence on technologies manufactured outside the jurisdiction of the European Union”.
The findings from the exercise, which are due to have been reviewed by the next Cyber Europe exercise in 2018, are likely to address the ease with which hackers may be able to knock out key infrastructure by harnessing the power of massive IoT botnets, such as the one used to take down a number of the world’s biggest websites during last month’s massive DDoS attack on a key internet backbone provider.
As well as being used in botnets, security experts are growing increasingly worried that connected objects could be used to commit new forms of cybercrime, noting that mHealth devices could be hijacked and used to kill patients who use them, and that connected vehicles might be taken over by hackers looking to cause road traffic accidents.