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Our news and views

Individual articles written by SECURITY EUROPE

Big changes coming to EU’s border control agency in long term

By BROOKS TIGNER, with ADELA CEJNAROVA BRUSSELS – The EU’s new regulation to strengthen its Frontex border agency was not only wrapped up in record time – it took only five months from the member states’ request to the European Parliament’s final approval on 6 July 2016 – but represents a real shift of sovereignty in several areas, though few national capitals care to admit that.The agency’s revised remit is reflected in the new name it will have: the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. With the regulation expected to enter into force in late September or early October, its provision for creating a 1,500-strong “flying squad” of border guards deployable to future hot spots along the EU’s external borders has grabbed most of the headlines.But the more important long-term sources for the emergence of common border management around Europe’s periphery lie elsewhere in the regulation. These will create far more operational autonomy for Frontex, namely by enabling it to...

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European Commission fires its new shot to contain cyber threats

By CHRIS DALBY and BROOKS TIGNERBRUSSELS – According to a recent survey by PwC, at least 80 percent of all European companies have suffered at least one cyber-security incident in the last year, with the number of incidents across all industries worldwide jumping up 38 percent in 2015 compared to 2014.So reports the European Commission and so reacts the latter with yet another initiative to combat the ever-increasing threats of cyber attacks and infiltration into Europe’s information networks and equipment. Previous EU measures have included legislation to punish cyber criminals, extensive consultations with academia to shape future EU-supported cyber research, the creation of a European computer emergency response team (CERT) to protect the digital networks and data of EU institutions and, finally, a badgering of the member states to get their national CERTs to work more closely together.Now it is turning to the private sector. Its latest initiative involves money – quite a lot of it – and a first-time cybersecurity...

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Drones offer huge potential for the future but manufacturers should not ignore their “hidden” aspects, warn the experts

By LAUREN KUHN and ADELA CEJNAROVA BRUSSELS – Europe’s manufacturers of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) face “a certain kind of headache” in the future if they do not take all of their aspects into account, from the technological to the legal, said experts at UVS International’s conference on RPAS held here on 22-23 June.“One tends to forget about the requirements of...

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Security project to block CI cyber-attacks makes good progress

By ADELA CEJNAROVA, with BROOKS TIGNERBRUSSELS – The risk of cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure (CI) is increasing, as recently seen in Ukraine where a large number of power companies suffered unexpected power outages in December 2015 that hit some 200,000 homes. The EU, where critical infrastructure is interconnected, is also at risk and many of its security research projects borders are investigating alert and defensive mechanisms to protect it.One of these is the project ECOSSIAN – “European COntrol System Security Incident Analysis Network.” Currently in its final phase, the EUR 13.2 million project aims to improve the detection and management of sophisticated cyber attacks against CI by implementing a pan-European early warning and situational awareness framework that includes command and control facilities.Daniel Meister, the project’s manager, told SECURITY EUROPE that “all the defined interfaces...

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Policymakers and pundits finally turn the corner on rhetoric

By ADELA CEJNAROVA and LAUREN KUHN, with BROOKS TIGNERBRUSSELS – In recent years schools, universities, prisons and mosques have all become increasingly dangerous breeding grounds for jihadist radicalisation. This has attracted – and led to the indoctrination and recruitment of – individuals, violent extremists and fully fledged terrorists, including foreign fighters.Confronting this hydra-head challenge was the crux of a panel debate during a panel discussion here in late June by the European Policy Centre (EPC). The consensus across all the panel’s speakers was that radicalised Islam operates by fostering a...

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Former Belgian spy chief says traditional intelligence still needed

By TERI SCHULTZ, with BROOKS TIGNERBRUSSELS – In the wake of the recent terror attacks in France and Belgium, former head of Belgian intelligence Alain Winants says tactics and targets have changed since his nearly eight years at the helm of the country’s “Sûreté de l’État”, from 2006-2014. Indeed, the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice on 14 July is raising more questions about how authorities can keep their population safe from the home-grown terrorist threat.Winants rejects the notion that Belgian intelligence is to blame for the ability of a Belgian-based Islamist terror cell to launch attacks on both Paris and Brussels. He said Belgian authorities were both aware and communicative about the danger of Islamist radicalisation, but were not paid much heed by others before the threats surfaced as attacks. He said the latter were “on the political level, a wakeup a call, a serious wakeup call and a serious eye opener.”In his view, the main work of intelligence services must be...

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Europe needs a far more secure “eco-system” for healthcare data

More and more data is being collected on and by patients, stored on social platforms and the cloud, and used for commercial purposes. Alongside this activity is the rising risk of data leaks or breaches. And when these happen, patients lose trust in the management of their health data.How big is that risk? Current studies show that privacy and security are given low priority in the development of health data applications. This raises serious issues of security and safety in the field of health data. In a word, we need to drag this sector toward...

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Update on tenders and calls-for-proposals in EU security (19/07/2016)

1. Security support services for the GSA (GSMC) Provision of operations, engineering and security support services to Galileo Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC) operations development of the European GNSS Agency.The estimated total value excluding VAT range between EUR 1 & EUR 20.000.000 Deadline: 25 July 2016 Contact: European GNSS Agency (GSA) Email: tenders@gsa.europa.eu Call documentation and application forms can be found here

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EU Security Research Projects Awarded (19/07/2016)

ROCSAFE: Remotely Operated CBRNe Scene Assessment Forensic Examination The overall goal of ROCSAFE is to fundamentally change how CBRNe events are assessed, in order to and ensure the safety of crime scene investigators by reducing the need for them to enter high-risk scenes when they have to determine the nature of threats and gather forensics.For this, ROCSAFE will make use of cost-effective modern remotely-controlled robotic air and ground vehicles (RAVs/RGVs) that are designed for use in rain, wind, and challenging ground surfaces and obstacles.First, RAVs will assess the scene. These will have cameras and can carry an array of innovative new high-performance and rugged miniaturised sensor systems for RN, chemical and biological threats.To reduce the scene commander’s cognitive load, ROCSAFE will include new Central Decision Management software and a Command Centre. All images and data will be streamed to this, where it will be analysed and displayed on a sophisticated and intuitive interface with maps and video, showing results of analytics and giving readings geographical context. This will enable the scene commander to assess the nature of threats, develop an Action Plan and an Evidence Plan, supported as needed by the Central Decision Management. It will also assist in coordinating sensors and mobile units. Its data analytics will provide fusion of multiple sensor data sources, to allow probabilistic reasoning about the most likely threats and likely locations of epicentres.After the scene is assessed, RGVs will be dispatched to collect forensic material/evidence, with automatically-optimised routes to avoid hazards. They will have innovative new equipment for forensics collection that will automate best practices. Forensic material will be collected, bagged, tagged, documented, and stored by the RGV.Thus, ROCSAFE will ensure that CBRNe scenes are assessed more rapidly and thoroughly than is currently possible, and that forensic evidence is collected in a manner that stands up in court, without putting personnel at risk.Start date: 2016-07-01 End date: 2019-06-30 Total cost: EUR 4.781.061 EU Contribution: EUR 4.781.061 Project Coordinator: National University Of Ireland, Galway

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Upcoming European security conferences & exhibits (19/07/2016)

Here are some upcoming events related to European civil security we think readers should be aware of:ICCTHS 2016: 18th International Conference on Counter Terrorism and Human Security 21-22 July 2016, Zurich, CHENext Generation Emergency Services workshop 25-27 July 2016, Crete, GRThe Fifth International Conference on Cyber Security, Cyber Warfare, and Digital Forensic (CyberSec2016) 26-28 July 2016, Manchester, UK

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