European Commission launches public-private partnership on cybersecurity

In an effort to better equip Europe against cyber-attacks, the European Commission has just launched a new public-private partnership on cybersecurity that is expected to trigger an investment of €1.8 billion by 2020.

According to PWC's recent Global State of Information Survey 2016, at least 80 per cent of European companies have experienced some form of cybersecurity incident over the course of the last year. These incidents hurt European companies of all sizes while undermining the digital economy.

The European Commission wants to help reinforce cooperation across borders and between all of the actors and sectors currently active in cybersecurity as part of its Digital Single Market strategy. This is why it has chosen to launch the first European public private partnership on cybersecurity.

The EU plans on investing €450 million in this partnership which will help fund its research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) is expected to invest three times more.

Together the partnership will include members from national, regional and local public administrations, research centres and academia. The goal of the partnership is to encourage cooperation at the early stages of the research and innovation process. This will allow it to build cybersecurity solutions tailored for various sectors such as energy, health, transportation and finance.

The Commission also wants to confront the problem of fragmentation that exists in the EU cybersecurity market. As it stand now, an ICT company might have to undergo different certification processes to sell its products and services in several Member States. In order to forego this, the Commission will explore the notion of a possible European certification framework for ICT security products.

In regard to why the European Commission has decided to form the European public private partnership on cybersecurity, Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said: "Europe needs high quality, affordable and interoperable cybersecurity products and services. There is a major opportunity for our cybersecurity industry to compete in a fast-growing global market.

"We call on Member States and all cybersecurity bodies to strengthen cooperation and pool their knowledge, information and expertise to increase Europe's cyber resilience. The milestone partnership on cybersecurity signed today with the industry is a major step ."

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