EU to propose cybersecurity rules

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Feb 6, 2013

Companies required to report breaches.

The European Union is due to set out a new set of cybersecurity rules tomorrow - in which companies including search engines, energy providers, banks and financial service providers and 'internet enablers' will be required to report any breaches or cybersecurity incidents to national bodies.

The proposals drafted by the European Commission would affect around 40,000 companies including 'internet enablers" such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, eBay and Skype, obligating them to notify national authorities of any instances in which their services are disrupted or data privacy is breached - besides cybersecurity attacks, this also includes cases of human error and natural disasters. Sanctions would be determined and enforced by the individual member states.

The proposals have been drafted in an attempt to force the hand of the various parties involved since voluntary information sharing and regulation has not so far been successful. The document states: "The current situation in the EU, reflecting the purely voluntary approach followed so far, does not provide sufficient protection against network and information security incidents and risks across the EU."

Ahead of the formal announcement of the rules, the strategy has already received criticism from various industry leaders, whose concern is that enforcing such reporting mandates could harm business - and European digital rights group EDRi claims that such a move could give national authorities access to a level of information that would be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Following the official announcement of the rules, the proposal will be reviewed by the European Parliament and the leaders of the EU's 27 national governments before (if approved) becoming law.

Posted on 06 February 2013 by Helen Martin

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