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On July 5th, the European Commission signed an agreement to fund research in cybersecurity, and they want private security firms to help. The initiative is being launched to help the EU tackle the growing cyber security issue and to make the industry more competitive.

The European Commission

In the release, the EU states it will invest €450 million to help establish a public-private partnership (PPP) and that cybersecurity market players will be expected to invest three times as much. The Commission expects the industry to complement public funding with private investment, including the financing of related research, innovation, and market activities.

Those eligible to receive funds include companies, universities, research organisations established in the EU, and Horizon 2020 associated countries.

According to a recent survey by PWC, at least 80% of companies in Europe have experienced at least one cyber security incident over the last year. That number is alarming, and it´s not going to change unless the security industry begins taking some serious action. This seems like a step in the right direction.

The Commission has prepared a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda that highlights a series of technical priorities:

  • Privacy by Design
  • Identity, Access and Trust Management
  • Data Security
  • Protection of the ICT Infrastructure
  • Cybersecurity Services

The report also mentions a number of non-technical areas that include education, training, regulation, and fostering innovation in cybersecurity.

Many will welcome the EU’s announcement, as the partnership shows a desire to develop a long-term, strategic approach to research and innovation. Cyber security is a fast-moving area of technology, and gaps do pop up from time to time. A more collaborative approach will help step up the supply of more secure solutions to the EU and encourage action from businesses, public authorities, and nations.

With the announcement of the release, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said:

“Without trust and security, there can be no Digital Single Market. Europe has to be ready to tackle cyber-threats that are increasingly sophisticated and do not recognise borders. Today, we are proposing concrete measures to strengthen Europe’s resilience against such attacks and secure the capacity needed for building and expanding our digital economy.”

News of this investment comes less than two years before the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) takes effect. For more information on the EU GDPR, click here.