As modern economies have embraced information and communication technologies, they have become vulnerable to cyber attacks. Such attacks are mounted by a wide variety of actors, some state-affiliated or enjoying state support. The methods and tools used are however largely the same.
Cyberspace is an open environment, which poses a serious challenge to policy-makers. Its governance is shared by governments, the private sector and civil society. Cyber security efforts thus require the involvement of various stakeholders, in particular since the private sector owns the vast majority of hardware, software and information infrastructure.
Despite limits to its competence, the EU has sought to become a platform for common cyber security efforts by the Member States. It has tackled network security issues and set up procedures for the protection of critical infrastructure in Europe. Moreover, the EU has established minimum rules concerning criminal offences and facilitated law enforcement cooperation through Europol, including with the newly established European Cybercrime Centre.
The Parliament has closely followed the Commission’s actions and commented in depth on its major policy documents. In 2013, it co-decided the Directive on attacks against information systems.