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Security experts question EC's cyber attack disclosure plans

06 Nov 2012

The European Commission's (EC) proposals that companies be forced to reveal information on security attacks will cause more harm than good and cause ill-advised knee-jerk reactions to attacks, according to leading security vendors.

EC vice president for the digital agenda, Neelie Kroes, revealed that the body is considering forcing private sector firms hit by attacks to report the incidents, during a speech on Sunday.

The policy is an escalation of the EC's previous plans to force businesses to report any data breaches to affected parties - as is currently the case in the telecoms sector.

If implemented the legislation would force companies to report incidents to a number of undisclosed "relevant authorities" after every attack.

The policy is reportedly designed to help strengthen the region's cyber security information sharing culture giving businesses and governments more information about what the biggest active threats are.

However, speaking to V3, Trend Micro security director Rik Ferguson highlighted that such a policy would likely have the opposite effect, forcing businesses to take ill-conceived, knee-jerk reactions to attacks.

"Exposing whatever knowledge a victim has of attacks which are being perpetrated against it, particularly at too early a stage, could seriously hinder investigative efforts by alerting attackers to the fact that they have been discovered," Ferguson told V3.

"Any legislation in this area, as in all crime, should be on the side of the victim whether that be an international corporation or an individual whose personal data has been compromised.

"Both of these are best served by allowing an investigation to properly determine the truth and extent of events before any notification takes place."

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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