Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Action 39: Member States to carry out cyber-attack simulations

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The action aimed at Member States, in cooperation with the Commission, to carry out large scale attack simulation and test mitigation strategies as of 2010.

Two pan-European exercises took place in 2010 and 2012 (Cyber Europe 2010 and 2012).

What is the problem? Cyber-attacks threaten internet users

Cyber-attacks are becoming ever more sophisticated. Internet users now face threats from a huge number of viruses, worms and other forms of malware.

Why is EU action needed? Cyber-terrorism is global so EU-wide cooperation is needed

No single country can deal successfully with these threats. International cooperation is essential at the early stages of a cyber-attack. Differences in national approaches and the lack of systematic cross-border cooperation greatly reduce the effectiveness of cyber-attack countermeasures.

Cyber security exercises are still at an early stage in the EU. Member States should therefore develop national contingency plans to deal with cyber-attacks. They should also organise regular exercises for responding to large scale networks security incidents and implementing disaster recovery. These measures should be adopted as steps towards closer pan-European coordination.

What has the European Commission done so far?

In 2010:

  • The 1st pan-European exercise that took place in November 2010 (Cyber Europe 2010) acted as a driver for some Member States to run their own national cyber security exercises.

In 2012:

  • ENISA worked with Member States on the organisation of the 2nd pan-European exercise in 2012 (Cyber Europe 2012).

What will the Commission do in 2014?

  • ENISA together with Member States will organise the 3rd pan-European cyber exercise (CyberEurope2014).