Europe increasing its cyber-security preparedness, report suggests
71 per cent rise in practice drills over past two years a reflection of increasing security threats, according to EU
The number of national and international cyber security exercises undertaken by European nations has increased exponentially over the past decade, a new report suggests.
The EU’s cyber security agency ENISA examined 85 national and international cyber exercises undertaken between 2002 and 2012.
The investigation showed that the number of these drills has been increasing steadily over the years, but had suddenly accelerated between 2010 and 2012, rising by 71 per cent.
The report also demonstrated an increase in the number of international cyber security exercises and those involving the private and public sectors.
In 57 per cent of the exercises both the public and private sectors participated, while 64 per cent of the multinational exercises, which made up 33 per cent of the total number of exercises, involved more than 10 countries.
ENISA explained these trends as a response to the increasing threat of cross-border cyber incidents and attacks, as well as an “essential need to intensify public-private co-operation... as the ownership of the most critical information lies in private hands”.
The agency has produced seven key recommendations resulting from the report, including the establishment of an integrated global cyber exercise community, the inclusion of exercises in the lifecycle of national cyber crisis and contingency plans.
The development of feedback mechanisms to ensure that lessons are learned from the exercises was also suggested.
Executive director of ENISA, Professor Udo Helmbrecht, said: “The ENISA study shows that a broad consensus exists for cyber-exercises being an essential instrument to assess the preparedness of a community against cyber crises.
“Based on the report results, we will see a growing number of multinational exercises, like our recent Cyber Europe 2012, involving also the private sector,” he added.
Paul Lawrence, vice president of international operations at security vendor Corero Network Security, said the report suggests governments are becoming are increasingly aware of the risk cyber terrorism poses to national security.
“With proper planning and monitoring during these exercises, governments and organisations stand a better chance of protecting themselves if a real attack should occur," he added.