In light of recent cyberattacks launched against energy networks, transportation infrastructure and space assets, the Commission has urged all member states to significantly raise their spending on the development of their cybersecurity capabilities.
‘Cyberspace has no borders. Recent cyber-attacks on energy networks, transport infrastructure and space assets show the risks that they pose to both civilian and military actors. This calls for more action to protect citizens, armed forces, as well as the EU’s civilian and military missions and operations, against cyber threats,’ the Commission said.
According to a joint communication document sent to the European Parliament and Council, the goal of the new cyber policy is to create an EU Cyber Defense Coordination Centre; to encourage members to take a more active role in Military Computer Emergency Response Teams (MICNET); and to create a similar network for civilian cyber incident responders.
Additionally, it aims to improve coordination and collaboration between the military and civilian cyber groups and boost the EU’s cyber capabilities.
The EU executive and its external affairs department are asking that nations establish an EU Cyber Commanders Conference and set up joint exercises under the banner of a new CyDef-X project.
The cyber defense policy is part of a broader four-year plan to improve Europe’s military mobility.
“The EU Policy on Cyber Defense shows that by bringing our civilian and military instruments together we can make a stronger impact against cyber threats,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s digital chief.
Even before Russia began its ground invasion of Ukraine in February, the EU had already been the target of a series of cyber strikes, which originally targeted Ukraine but soon spread to other EU member states.
This included the cyberattack that knocked out Viasat satellite broadband modems, one hour before Russia’s ground invasion began.
Thousands of small aperture terminals in Ukraine and across Europe were rendered inoperable by the operation, which was intended to disrupt Ukrainian communications.
Since the start of the war, several distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have also been launched against European countries.
“Cyber is the new domain in warfare,” said Josep Borrell, high representative/vice president of EU foreign affairs and security policy.
“To be up to the challenges and threats ahead of us, we need modern and interoperable European armed forces equipped with the latest cyber defense capabilities.
“The new EU Policy on cyber defense will increase cooperation among the EU’s cyber defense actors and develop mechanisms to use capabilities at the EU level, including in the context of CSDP missions and operations. By doing so, we will step up our ability to prevent , detect, detect and defend against cyber-attacks, as called for by the Strategic Compass.”