Europe needs a coordinated plan of action to solve the ongoing security crisis facing companies and governments, according to the European Commission's vice president for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes.
Speaking at a European strategy roundtable for internet security in Brussels on Wednesday, Kroes said that governments and corporations have to work together to create a co-ordinated and consistent set of response guidelines to combat the growing threat cyber crime poses.
"These threats affect everyone. They could damage not just government or critical infrastructure, but also threaten consumer trust in global e-commerce, worth trillions of euros each year. The threats come from around the world and readily crosses borders," she said.
"This is why we need a new vision to address the specificities of security in cyberspace. We need everyone - governments, businesses and individuals - to work together and share the responsibility of making internet safe and secure."
The EC vice president also called for both an increase in EC spending on innovation for security technologies and further incentives and rewards for companies that create new defence measures.
"I want to invest in innovation for security technologies, including through the EU budget. We've now launched a call for proposals on how to fight botnets. But research alone isn't enough. We need to fill the gaps in the value chain, and seamlessly bring bright ideas to the market," said Kroes.
"With an approach that is built on the Single Market, giving the right incentives to the private sector, investing in supply, and with an international outlook, then we can deliver not just a safer internet for all, but also stimulate a vibrant and essential new EU industry."
Kroes comments follow studies from IBM and Verizon that both suggested an increase in the tenacity of cyber criminals.
IBM reported seeing a marked increase in the number of attacks employing "complex" hacking techniques, while Verizon suggested a change in the motivation of the attacks, claiming hacktivist groups are now responsible for 58 per cent of all data breaches.
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