The European Commission has adopted the EU Cyber Solidarity Act to strengthen cyber resilience capacities across the EU. The proposed Act will support detection and awareness of cyber threats and incidents, enhance the preparedness of critical entities, and encourage the development of crisis management and response capabilities across Member States.
The EU Cyber Solidarity Act will create a ‘European Cybersecurity Shield’ and a comprehensive ‘Cyber Emergency Mechanism’.
The European Cyber Shield will be a pan-European infrastructure composed of national and cross-border Security Operations Centres (SOCs) which will detect and share information about major cyber threats quickly and effectively using state-of-the-art technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced data analytics.
These centres could be operational by early 2024 says the European Commission.
The Cyber Emergency Mechanism will increase preparedness and enhance incident response capabilities in the EU. It will support:
- Preparedness actions, including testing entities in highly critical sectors (healthcare, transport, energy, etc.) for potential vulnerabilities, based on common risk scenarios and methodologies.
- Creating a new EU Cybersecurity Reserve consisting of incident response services from trusted providers pre-contracted and therefore ready to intervene, at the request of a Member State or Union Institutions, bodies and agencies, in case of a significant or large-scale cyber incident.
- Providing financial support for mutual assistance, where a Member State could offer support to another Member State.
The EU Cyber Solidarity Act will also establish the Cybersecurity Incident Review Mechanism to enhance EU resilience by reviewing and assessing significant or large-scale cyber incidents after they have taken place, drawing lessons learned and where appropriate, issuing recommendations for improving the EU’s cyber posture.
The total budget for all actions under the EU Cyber Solidarity Act is EUR 1.1 billion, of which about 2/3 will be financed by the EU through the Digital Europe Programme.
EU Cyber Solidarity Act: next steps
The proposed EU Cyber Solidarity Act will now pass to the European Parliament and the European Council for examination.