Facing up to Cyber Threats – The new EU Strategy

On 13th September, the European Commission (EC) published its new strategy to tackle the increased cyber threats by aligning the national governments, industry and civil society in a more unified European approach.

The EC highlights that cybercrime will cause 3 billion euros in damages by 2020. In addition, tens of billions of “Internet of Things” devices, such us smart phones, connected cars or smart door locks, are expected to be connected to the Internet by the end of this decade, but cyber-security is not yet prioritised in their design.

In 2017 alone, the WannaCry ransomware attack affected more than 400,000 computers in over 150 countries, with the NHS or German state railways among those hardest hit; one month later, Petya ransomware attack hit Maersk, Saint-Gobain and WPP. In the case of Maersk the damage could amount to more than $300 million.

The approach set out in the EC’s strategy aims at enhancing the EU’s capabilities to deal with these threats. The ultimate objective is building greater resilience and strategic autonomy, boosting capabilities in terms of technology and skills. It also seeks to help building a strong single market, fostering the consumer’s trust in emerging technologies.

This snapshot will assess the impact of the EU’s new Cybersecurity Strategy on companies and the challenges and opportunities it will create.

Alejandro Sanchez heads the Cyber- Security team at FTI Consulting in Brussels

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