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Individual articles written by SECURITY EUROPE

Subtle change to status of EU dual-use/defence initiatives could wield big benefits for capability development if exploited by EU28

By BROOKS TIGNER BRUSSELS – The progress of EU-sponsored security and defence capabilities has been patchy at best and, depending on the sector, unrealised at worst. A few sterling, if slow-to-get-off-the-ground examples stand out: the Galileo satellite system, an integrated maritime awareness picture via the naval initiative known as MARSUR, the EU’s various crisis-alert mechanisms, the Schengen Information System for law enforcement investigation.Not a whole lot else has been translated into concrete capabilities. For example, the results of most of the EU’s Security Research projects of the past eight years still sit on the shelf, uncommercialised for lack of consolidated public demand. In the defence sector, there is virtually nothing at EU level that has been developed either because national capitals have traditionally refused to countenance the notion or because the right alignment of EU instruments has not fallen into place.That may be about to change now. In a routine but little-noticed piece of annual renewing legislation, recently approved by the 28 member states, it was decided that any...

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EU, NATO officials: migration crisis “exposed” EU’s problems

By TERI SCHULTZ BRUSSELS – European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans says the pressures on Europe today, brought on primarily by the refugee crisis, have created a situation so grave that the once “unimaginable” is now quite possible: the disintegration of the European Union.“The challenge to the European project today is existential,” he said in his address to the Friends of Europe’s annual “State of Europe” conference here on 22 October. A “true European illness” has spread across the 28 EU nations and now “we are in a situation today where we lost track of what we share or the common destiny we should be building and we are looking especially at the differences between us,” he observed, adding that it leads both to weak relations between member states and weak support for the EU.According to Timmermans, there two main challenges facing the EU. One is that...

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European rail networks now face new, but deadly kind of threat

By CHRIS DALBY BRUSSELS –As rail travel becomes more digitalised, so it leaves itself more vulnerable to attack. Indeed, experts in the sector predict rail will become more susceptible to cyber-assaults such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. But these are not the only threats, as underscored by International Union of Railways and others at the final conference of the EU-funded research project known as SECRET, which took place in Lille on 29 October.“If we look at the most recent security related events they tell us that transport is fairly vulnerable to attacks”, said Erik Bessmann, a manager at the Institut Français des sciences et Technologies des Transports, de l'Aménagement et des Réseaux (IFSTTAR) and research consortium member. It means rail security must now combat conventional and unconventional threats, he added.Launched in August 2011 and ending on 30 November 2015, SECRET’s objectives were to assess the risks and consequences of...

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European security study finally gives technological and industrial baseline

By CHRIS DALBY BRUSSELS – In late June of this year the research consultancy Ecorys published a study on “the development of statistical data on the European security technological and industrial base” at the behest of the European Commission. This study was launched in 2012 to support the Commission’s action plan “Security Industrial Policy: Action Plan for an innovative and competitive Security Industry - COM(2012) 417.”The rationale behind the study was to generate more reliable statistics about the size and composition of Europe’s civil security sector.Paul Baker, project team leader for Ecorys and the man who headed up the study for the Commission, spoke to SECURITY EUROPE in late October. Aside from the lack of official statistics on the sector, Baker said the industry itself has been ...

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Online crime get easier with turnkey kits for aspiring blackmailers

By TERI SCHULTZ BRUSSELS – It was recently revealed that the British Parliament’s internal computer service had been locked up by cyber-criminals demanding money for access in May, while in November German businesses found themselves threatened by invisible predators threatening to publish private data if their extortion demands were not met.Coinciding with these real-life dramas, McAfee Labs’ released their latest “Threat Prediction Report”. Their forecast for 2016-2020, published on 9 November, predicts that personal and commercial internet users will experience attacks underpinned by patience, by “sleepers that are willing to wait months before activating” the attack. McAffee characterises this kind of attack as a “visible and active malware or botnet attack that draws [away] the attention and resources of the security team, while the real attack slips in quietly somewhere else and moves around unobserved and unconstrained.” Not to be overlooked either, of course, are the guns for hire, ever more popular and user-friendly.However, according to McAfee, the potentially biggest area of growth in “cybercrime-as-a-service” will be in the field of...

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White paper outlines safety and security approach to urban areas

By AMANDA SLOWIKOWSKI BRUSSELS – The success of European cities is contingent on the response to stakeholder demands regarding security, convenience, opportunity and prosperity, says Euralarm, the pan-European association here that represents the alarm equipment and systems sector.According to its new position paper, this concept should include a city’s security and resilience in terms of service delivery and, crucially, the...

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The Role of European Cybersecurity Industry

Euro-View: Limnell Jarno on CybersecurityFinland, where I live, has been ranked as the globe’s most innovative country by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Half of the top 10 countries in the WEF’s list, in fact, are European. In light of intensifying global digitalisation and cybersecurity, this should be good news. Unfortunately, the reality is different.Currently, Europe’s digital fate is in the hands of others. A way out of this would be to focus our continent’s talent for developing its own cybersecurity.Digital innovations are already “the driving force” of national economies. The importance of digital development will be...

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Update on tenders and calls-for-proposals in EU security (18/11/2015)

H2020 Security Research calls
1. Automated fingerprint identification system The main objective of this contract is to provide Europol with an automated fingerprint identification system to be implemented in two phases. The first phase will be used, initially, as an application n the internal network of Europol with manual import of fingerprint files and output of reports in text files. The second phase will be integrated into the analysis and auditing systems of Europol and which the supplier will need to provide supporting services. These supporting services will include: configuration, on site services for installation, migration of data from the current AFIS, testing, maintenance, and training will also need to be provided.The maximum total duration of the contract is 6 years. The length of the contract will be 2 years with 2 possible extensions of 1 year each for the purchase of products, services and maintenance (4 years total duration). The maintenance services of the contract will have 2 additional possible extensions of 1 year each.The estimated value of this contract is EUR 700.000 Deadline: N/A Contact: EUROPOL Email: procurement@europol.europa.eu Call documentation and application forms can be found here

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EU Security Research Projects Awarded (18/11/2015)

1. DrugStop - Drug detection for personal protection The Problem: Drug rape, and related crimes, performed after a victim has been intoxicated by a drug that has been added to the victims drink, is a growing problem and threat to EU citizens. It is estimated that approximately 103,000 incidents occur annually in EU alone. Also the number of cases is increasing every year as the use of “drink spiking” to facilitate crimes is increasing in popularity.The Solution: D-management has developed a device, DrugStop, which is capable of detecting if drugs have been added to a drink. We have achieved this goal by combining advanced spectroscopic techniques with advanced data processing. Through the commercialization of this device we give people, and establishment owners, a reliable and efficient way they can defend themselves against this increasing threat.The Market: Market surveys have indicated that both individuals and owners of establishments are interested in a device that can detect if drugs are present in drinks. It is estimated that the total cost, in the EU alone is EUR 2.83 billion annually. We have identified an urgent need for a device that can prevent these kinds of crimes. Our device is marketed towards two classes of end-users: establishment (bars, pubs etc) owners and the individual user. For both markets there is currently no serious offer of the same kind of reliable and fast detection system.Start date: 2015-11-01 End date: 2016-02-29 Total cost: EUR 71.429 EU contribution: EUR 50.000 Project coordinator: D MANAGEMENT ApS, Denmark

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