European institutions beefed up cybersecurity efforts yesterday by establishing a permanent Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-EU).
The decision was made following a one-year pilot for the team, which works closely with the internal IT security teams of the EU institutions - the European Commission, the Council, the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions.
European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said that these EU institutions are frequently the target of information security incidents.
CERT-EU also benefits from support from the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) and communicates with the community of CERTs and IT security companies in EU member states. According to the Commission they are "highly interconnected with each other, creating a community of experts fighting for the common cause of cyber security."
In March 2011, the European Commission was hit by serious cyberattack, forcing staff to change their passwords and revert to using secure email only. A month later the Parliament was hit, with similar results.
CERT-EU aims to reduce the impact of such attacks by detecting and correcting vulnerabilities and threats and taking preventative action to mitigate the risks.