As part of Digital Single Market, the European Commission initiates public-private investment programme to strengthen Europe’s cybersecurity credentials
The European Commission (EC) is trying to better equip Europe against cyberattacks by launching a public-private partnership on cybersecurity worth €1.8 billion (£1.5bn).
The investment, which should be completed by 2020, is hoped to strengthen the competitiveness of Europe’s cybersecurity sector.
The effort is part of the Commission’s larger Digital Single Market strategy, with the organisation aiming to reinforce cooperation on cybersecurity across border and between all sectors active in cybersecurity.
“Europe has to be ready to tackle cyber-threats that are increasingly sophisticated and do not recognise borders. Today, we are proposing concrete measures to strengthen Europe’s resilience against such attacks and secure the capacity needed for building and expanding our digital economy,” said Andrus Ansip, the Digital Single Market’s vice president.
“Without trust and security, there can be no Digital Single Market.”
For its part in the partnership, the European Union itself will invest €450 million (£380m), under its Horizon 2020 innovation programme. Cybersecurity vendors, organised under the umbrella of the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO), are hoped to invest three times that figure.
The partnership will also include members from national, regional and local public administrations, research centres and academia.
The Commission has today also taken steps to solve the problem of fragmentation in Europe’s cybersecurity sector. Currently, an IT company might need to undergo different certification processes to sell its products and services in several Member States. But the Commission said it will look into a possible European certification framework for IT security products.
The Commission said it also wants to ease access to finance for smaller businesses working in cybersecurity, and will further explore this option has part of the EU investment plan.
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.”