A European cybercrime centre was opened in The Hague last month.
Under new rules, proposed by the EU, more than 40,000 firms could be forced to report cyber break-ins. This would include banks, hospitals and other large organizations.
Neelie Kroes, Digital agenda commissioner said that Europe needs to increase its efforts in dealing with cyber-security.
“The more people rely on the internet the more people rely on it to be secure. A secure internet protects our freedoms and rights and our ability to do business. It’s time to take coordinated action – the cost of not acting is much higher than the cost of acting,” said Kroes.
Some organizations are worried that if they report security breaks or attacks by hackers that their company may suffer due to a loss in confidence in them to keep security for its customers.
Each country would have to create a Computer Emergency Response Team. The reported attacks or security breaches would then be investigated and it would then be decided whether or not to go public with the results and also whether to serve a fine on the companies for not having proper security procedures.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said, “For cyberspace to remain open and free, the same norms, principles and values that the EU upholds offline, should also apply online.”
Ms Kroes said: “Europe needs resilient networks and systems and failing to act would impose significant costs on consumers, businesses and society.”
The EU said that only one in four European companies has a regularly-reviewed, formal ICT security policy. Even among ICT companies, the figure is only one in two.
A report by accountants PwC says that 93% of large businesses in the UK have been attacked by a cyber-security breach. It also said that three quarters of UK small businesses had also suffered the same.