Cyber security: new rules to protect Europe’s infrastructure

Cyber attacks can cause substantial damage to critical infrastructure services such as the electricity supply or air traffic control. To better defend against such attacks, the European Commission has proposed the EU’s first ever cyber security rules. MEPs voted in favour of them on Wednesday 6 July. Check out our infographic to find out about the different threats out there.

Our digitised societies increasingly rely on electronic networks and information systems, however this has also created more opportunities for online fraud and forgery.  Anyone from individuals to companies and public authorities can fall victim to schemes such as identity theft, fake bank websites or industrial espionage.

On 6 July MEPs approved on the Network and Information Security directive, which sets out a common EU approach on cyber security. It list critical sectors such as energy, transport and banking where companies would have to ensure they are able to resist a cyber attack. They would be obliged to report serious security incidents to national authorities, while digital service providers such as Amazon and Goole would also have to notify them of major attacks. In addition the directive aims to boost cooperation on cyber security between EU countries.

According to a Eurobarometer survey published in February 2015, Europeans are highly concerned about cyber security: 89% of all internet users avoid disclosing personal information online, while 85% agree that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime is increasing. Every day more than 150,000 viruses and other malicious codes circulate.