Europe to hold cybersecurity exercise next month

The 'table top' exercise is designed to test if countries have a contact point available

The European Union is planning to hold a cybersecurity exercise across its 27 member states next month, the start of what officials hope will be greater cooperation in defending computer networks.

The exercise will take place in the first week of November, said Vangelis Ouzounis, senior expert for IT security policies for the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), during the RSA security conference in London on Tuesday.

The agency works with E.U. countries on computer security issues and authors papers on suggested best practices on subjects such as botnets.

Ouzounis characterized it as a "table top" exercise rather than an operational one. It is designed to test if European countries are capable of contacting each other and if language may prove to be a barrier during a real computer emergency.

"It's basically a way of building trust among the member states," Ouzounis said.

Despite growing awareness around cybersecurity, some countries still do not have a national contact point or a computer emergency response team, also known as a CERT, Ouzounis said. Law enforcement agencies still encounter problems when try to deal with cybercrime, which frequently has an international angle.

"They cannot communicate effectively on cross-country cases," Ouzounis said.

In addition to E.U. countries, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland will also take part.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

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