Cybersecurity: EU institutions strengthen cooperation to counter cyber-attacks

On 20 December 2017 EU institutions took an important step in strengthening their cooperation in the fight against cyber-attacks. An inter-institutional arrangement which enters into force today establishes a permanent Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-EU) covering all the EU’s institutions, bodies and agencies. It consolidates the existing task force into a permanent and effective team responsible for ensuring a coordinated EU response to cyber-attacks against its institutions.

CERT-EU works very closely with the internal IT security teams of the EU institutions, and liaises with the Computer Emergency Response Teams and IT security companies in member states and elsewhere, exchanging information on threats and how to handle them. It also cooperate closely with its counterparts at NATO.

CERT-EU is a member of the network of EU national and governmental Computer Security Incident Response Teams that has been established by the Directive on security of network and information systems.

Background

In recent years, Computer Emergency Response Teams have been set up in both the public and private sectors as small teams of cyber-experts that can respond effectively and efficiently to information security incidents and cyber threats. They are a key component in the strategy to combat these threats by assisting their clients in detecting and preventing weaknesses. They provide advance warning to their clients and recommend action to mitigate risks. They help to detect compromised systems and attacks and to take appropriate steps to prevent them or assist organisations to recover from them. They are highly interconnected with each other, creating a community of experts fighting for the common cause of cybersecurity.

CERT-EU’s resources are provided by EU institutions, bodies and agencies. The team operates under the strategic oversight of an inter-institutional Steering Board.

Read the EU’s Cyber Security Factsheet here: building-strong-cybersecurity-factsheet-tallinn_en