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EU tests cyber-security in day exercise

More than 200 organisations and 400 cyber-security professionals from 29 European countries are testing their readiness to counter cyber-attacks in a day-long simulation, organised by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA). In Cyber Europe 2014 experts from the public and private sectors including cyber security agencies, national Computer Emergency Response Teams, ministries, telecoms companies, energy companies, financial institutions and internet service providers are testing their procedures and capabilities against in a life-like, large-scale cyber-security scenario.

#CyberEurope2014 is the largest and most complex such exercise organised in Europe. More than 2000 separate cyber-incidents will be dealt with, including denial of service attacks to online services, intelligence and media reports on cyber-attack operations, website defacements (attacks that change a website's appearance), ex-filtration of sensitive information, attacks on critical infrastructure such as energy or telecoms networks and the testing of EU cooperation and escalation procedures. This is a distributed exercise, involving several exercise centres across Europe, which is coordinated by a central exercise control centre.

The Executive Director of ENISA, Professor Udo Helmbrecht (above), commented: “Five years ago there were no procedures to drive cooperation during a cyber-crisis between EU Member States. Today we have the procedures in place collectively to mitigate a cyber-crisis on European level. The outcome of today’s exercise will tell us where we stand and identify the next steps to take in order to keep improving.”

The #CyberEurope2014 exercise will, among others, test procedures to share operational information on cyber-crisis in Europe; enhance national capabilities to tackle cyber crises; explore the effect of multiple and parallel information exchanges between private-public, private-private at national and international level. The exercise also tests out the EU-Standard Operational Procedures (EU-SOPs), a set of guidelines to share operational information on cyber crisis.