At Infosecurity Europe in London yesterday, European Commission vice president Nellie Kroes delivered a keynote which detailed her vision for a pan-European internet security strategy encompassing government, businesses and consumers.
The EC VP noted that the cyber-criminal "economy" is now worth an estimated $380 billion, with damage not only being done on the commercial front, but also for political gain or the sheer thrill of online vandalism.
Kroes said: "Given that internet attacks have such a wide mix of sources and impact, the solution is not simple. Internet security cannot be left to the traditional instruments of national security - as if cyberspace was just another military theatre. We need a comprehensive response that covers all."
"That is why we need a new vision to address the particular features in cyberspace."
And that new strategy is planned to be brought in during the third quarter of this year, and is designed to transform the way Europe deals with internet security.
Kroes detailed five core elements of the strategy. Firstly, that EU member states will need to "guarantee minimal capabilities" in terms of responding to threats, and securely share critical related information among the public and private sectors.
It also stipulates the prompt reporting of security breaches among private enterprises - which often isn't achieved - and increased investment of EU budget in the security market.
A new European Forum will make sure that authorities and the private sector cooperate on net security matters, and furthermore, global cooperation will be called for - ensuring products from outside the EU comply in terms of security standards.
Kroes asserted: "Internet security is not a problem that is going to go away. But, by building response networks, a decent governance structure, the right incentives for the private sector, a vibrant internal market, and an international outlook, then we can deliver an internet that is safe and secure for everyone."