The European Commission has signed an agreement to launch a new public-private partnership that will see EU member states working with private cybersecurity firms. The partnership is being launched as part of a series of new initiatives to better equip Europe against cyber attacks and make its cybersecurity sector more competitive.
The partnership involves the EU investing an initial sum of €450 million under its research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 with cybersecurity market players, represented by the recently formed European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO), investing three times more than this.
With these combined contributions the total investment amount is expected to reach €1.8 billion by 2020. This money will be distributed to businesses, universities, and researchers interested in investigating cybersecurity problems in order to “foster cooperation at early stages of the research and innovation process and to build cybersecurity solutions for various sectors, such as energy, health, transport and finance.” The first calls for proposals is expected to be announced in 2017.
6 ways Britain leaving the EU will affect you
6 ways Britain leaving the EU will affect you
1/6 More expensive foreign holidays
The first practical effect of a vote to Leave is that the pound will be worth less abroad, meaning foreign holidays will cost us more
2/6 No immediate change in immigration status
The Prime Minister will have to address other immediate concerns. He is likely to reassure nationals of other EU countries living in the UK that their status is unchanged. That is what the Leave campaign has said, so, even after the Brexit negotiations are complete, those who are already in the UK would be allowed to stay
3/6 Higher inflation
A lower pound means that imports would become more expensive. This is likely to mean the return of inflation – a phenomenon with which many of us are unfamiliar because prices have been stable for so long, rising at no more than about 2 per cent a year. The effect may probably not be particularly noticeable in the first few months. At first price rises would be confined to imported goods – food and clothes being the most obvious – but inflation has a tendency to spread and to gain its own momentum
4/6 Interest rates might rise
The trouble with inflation is that the Bank of England has a legal obligation to keep it as close to 2 per cent a year as possible. If a fall in the pound threatens to push prices up faster than this, the Bank will raise interest rates. This acts against inflation in three ways. First, it makes the pound more attractive, because deposits in pounds will earn higher interest. Second, it reduces demand by putting up the cost of borrowing, and especially by taking larger mortgage payments out of the economy. Third, it makes it more expensive for businesses to borrow to expand output
5/6 Did somebody say recession?
Mr Carney, the Treasury and a range of international economists have warned about this. Many Leave voters appear not to have believed them, or to think that they are exaggerating small, long-term effects. But there is no doubt that the Leave vote is a negative shock to the economy. This is because it changes expectations about the economy’s future performance. Even though Britain is not actually be leaving the EU for at least two years, companies and investors will start to move money out of Britain, or to scale back plans for expansion, because they are less confident about what would happen after 2018
6/6 And we wouldn’t even get our money back
All this will be happening while the Prime Minister, whoever he or she is, is negotiating the terms of our future access to the EU single market. In the meantime, our trade with the EU would be unaffected, except that companies elsewhere in the EU may be less interested in buying from us or selling to us, expecting tariff barriers to go up in two years’ time. Whoever the Chancellor is, he or she may feel the need to bring in a new Budget
There are a number of areas that the European Commission says the partnership will aim to focus on, including technical issues such as improving the security of the cloud infrastructure and securing individual identities online, as well as some non-technical issues like improving and developing the skills of individuals in the field.
Due to the results of the Brexit vote, Kevin Bocek, Chief Security Strategist for cyber-security experts Venafi laments that British cybersecurity firms are set to lose out on the benefits of the investment.
However, he also says that there are concerns over whether or not the investment is going to be directed to the right places: “One of the key areas identified that the public/private partnership will focus on is ‘securing identities online’ – however, I think beyond this they need to recognise the need to secure identities of machines, software, devices and the foundation internet itself, not just people. ”
Bocek says that beyond securing individual identities, we must secure the digital certificates and cryptographic keys used to authenticate our systems. If we don’t secure these certificates and keys, Bocek thinks that there’s a real danger terrorists could begin to use them against us and “use the internet to take control of physical assets ranging from cars to planes to power plants and even the slew of devices that are now starting to control our homes [...] This is the cyberweapon of the 21st century that strikes at tricking identities of software and devices. This is what we must focus on, not just people.”
That said, it’s not just individual project investment that Britain will be missing out on – a further aim of the partnership is to support and facilitate strategic cooperation between EU member states through the Network and Information Security Directive. The hope is that a more open approach to exchanging information will strengthen Europe against large-scale cyber attacks.
Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “Without trust and security, there can be no Digital Single Market. Europe has to be ready to tackle cyber-threats that are increasingly sophisticated and do not recognise borders. Today, we are proposing concrete measures to strengthen Europe's resilience against such attacks and secure the capacity needed for building and expanding our digital economy.”Reuse content