Simulated cyber attack reveals EU flaws in coordination

IT security agencies should involve the private sector says ENISA

Some 55 percent of national information technology agencies would not know who to contact in the event of a European Union cyber attack, according to E.U. cybersecurity agency ENISA.

The criticism was in ENISA's review of the first pan-European simulated cybersecurity exercise. The Cyber Europe 2010 exercise took place on Nov. 4, 2010, and involvd more than 70 experts from the participating public bodies who worked together to counter over 300 simulated hacking attacks aimed at paralyzing the Internet and critical online services across Europe.

According to the ENISA report, 55 percent of E.U. participating countries were not confident they would be able to quickly identify the right contact, even with available directories. The report also highlighted the need for more cooperation with the private sector which, it said, could add an increased level of "realism" to future exercises.

It added that 86 percent of the participants found the dry run either "very" or "extremely" useful. Meanwhile, on an even larger scale, the E.U. and the U. S. have agreed to run a joint E.U.-U.S. cyberincident exercise by the end of 2011. The U.S. has been running cyberwar security exercises for some years, and the E.U. hopes to learn from this experience.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

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Jennifer Baker

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