ESBG: EU must continue push to tackle cyber threats
>> See: ESBG position on cybersecurity
>> Learn more: European Cybersecurity Month
BRUSSELS, 1 October 2018 – There is need for an unambiguous signal from policymakers that cybersecurity is at the forefront of their concerns, ESBG argues as Cybersecurity Month kicks off today. Those signals could include making cybercrime a most serious offense, with floor sanctions applied across the Union and having police forces investigating cyber-attacks as a matter of priority and by putting in place a transparent, standardized data reporting across EU member states.
ESBG outlined last year its position on cybersecurity in a paper that poits that a digital society can achieve a high level of cybersecurity through prevention and deterrence, detection, along with remedy and repression, on cybersecurity. ESBG notes in the paper that it welcomes the Commission's set of measures proposed in 2017 to build strong cybersecurity in the European Union, backing initiatives like prevention, boosting digital skills and particularly, the Digital Opportunity initiative, aimed at boosting digital skills on a cross-border basis through internships.
Banks, fintech newcomers and cybersecurity
The capabilities of industry participants to effectively fight cyber-attacks would be enhanced by formally allowing the exchange of threat information in real time between peers, unconstrained by data privacy or competition legislation. The development of structured messages to report threats and attacks to a single point should be encouraged.
The association of savings and retail banks in Europe also notes in the paper that any law aimed at data security and combatting cybercrime will need to include FinTech newcomers and third parties as well, as they are new to the market they are usually less used to dealing with cyber-attacks. This makes it likely that they are the weakest link in any data transfer that might include data from banks. Finally, cooperation with bodies outside the EU should be encouraged.
ESBG said: “Cybercrime can be fought effectively not only by a cooperation of industry sectors but also by working closely with government authorities, in particular with respect to the exchange of information."
The challenge ahead
Cybersecurity Month held in October raises awareness of the threat. ESBG concurs with the European Commission's stated view that “cybersecurity incidents, be they intentional or accidental, are increasing at an alarming pace and could disrupt the supply of essential services we take for granted such as water, healthcare, electricity, transport or mobile services".
Countering cyber threats and constantly enhancing cybersecurity are a challenge on many fronts, including the continuing changing nature and form of attacks, short life cycle of information related to attacks as well as the borderless character of attacks.
As evidenced by the Commission in 2017, ransomware attacks had increased by 300% since 2015. According to several studies, the economic impact of cybercrime rose fivefold from 2013 to 2017, and could further rise by a factor of four by 2019. Some 80% of European companies experienced at least one cybersecurity incident last year, and more than 4,000 ransomware attacks occurred each day in 2016.