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Our news and views

Individual articles written by SECURITY EUROPE

EU Security Research Projects Awarded (17/01/2018)

NEWLY AWARDED PROJECTS: SiEUGreen: Sino-European innovative green and smart cities SiEUGreen aspires to enhance EU-China cooperation in promoting urban agriculture for food security, resource efficiency and smart, resilient cities. Building on the model of zero-waste and circular economy, it will demonstrate how technological and societal innovation in urban agriculture can have a positive impact on society and the economy by …

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Upcoming European security conferences & exhibits (17/01/2018)

Here are some upcoming events related to European civil security we think readers should be aware of: 7th International Conference on Sensor Networks – SENSORNETS 2018 22-24 January 2018, Madeira, Portugal International Cybersecurity Forum 2018 23-24 January 2018, Lille, France 10th Conference on European Space Policy 23-24 January 2018, Brussels, Belgium CPDP-2018-The Internet of Bodies 24-26 January 2018, Brussels, Belgium …

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Impact of EU’s forthcoming defence fund riddled with unknowns

By BROOKS TIGNER , BRUSSELS – The rhetoric of EU and national leaders kow-tows incessantly to the vitality and importance of SMEs – small and medium sized enterprises – for Europe’s economic innovation and job-creating potential. Yet successful innovative SMEs in the EU that soar to become giants on the world stage are few and far between. There are a couple of Skype-type exceptions, but too many of Europe’s “garage” inventors who have a good idea, particularly in the digital field, head for the greener pastures of the USA where bureaucratic obstacles are lower, returns higher and venture capitalists more willing to take risks than their European counterparts. This points directly to the EU’s forthcoming European Defence Fund (EDF) and how it will generate high-tech results within the framework of PESCO, the permanent structured cooperation in defence that 23 EU member states (and counting) will set in motion in 2018. Such projects will necessarily have to draw in dual-use innovations from the commercial realm. A critical acid test for the defence fund will be to what extent it enables SMEs with interesting dual-use products in one PESCO country to...

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While the EU powers up its new online privacy regulations, Europe’s private sector is feeling disconnected

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is intended to protect the online data of all its citizens by harmonising and strengthening European laws on data protection, and is set to go into effect on 25 May 2018. On that date, the EU’s e-privacy regulation – a more binding law – will replace its 2002 e-privacy directive. The penalties for corporate non-compliance will be shockingly stiff: up to EUR 20 million or four percent of worldwide annual turnover for an offending company, whichever is higher. So where do things stand? Policymakers and IT executives gathered here on 30 November for the 8th Annual European Data Protection and Privacy Conference to assess the progress of corporate compliance. So far, the outlook is...

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The EU’s GDPR and crime: throwing some light on the dark net

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, with BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – Data protection experts are issuing grim warnings about the growing capabilities of cyber-criminals on the so-called ‘dark net’ – the highly encrypted publicly remote layer of the internet where illicit transactions and money-laundering are rampant. Addressing the 8th Annual Data Protection and Privacy Conference here on 30 November, Caroline Goemans-Dorny, data protection officer at Interpol, said cyber-criminal networks have extensively developed dark-web business models. “They use very nice charts. They have CEOs, planning departments, human resources departments, and IT departments. They even have legal departments that figure out which countries have less stringent data protection requirements, and then they act in those countries.” But, according to Goemans-Dorny, the truly scary thing is...

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Will the GDPR lead to greater European control over European data? Or will it harm European data companies as they compete?

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – When it comes data privacy, some Europeans are distinctly uneasy about how much information US data companies collect in Europe, and what they do with it. “We have a feeling sometimes that we are a bit colonised in Europe,” Karel Ribbens told the 8th Annual Data Protection and Privacy Conference here on 30 November. Referring to the EU’s general data protection regulation (GDPR), the founder of Artrix* NV (a Brussels-based start-up platform devoted to online privacy protection), Ribbens advocated a more European approach to data control. “Sometimes I think we should take back our data. We have to ask...

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Iran’s cat-and-mouse game with adversaries is not all about nuclear and things military: there is also the cyber domain

By BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – While much of the world’s attention concerning Teheran has, rightly, been focused on how US policy could undermine the EU-brokered deal in 2015 for Iran’s nuclear compliance, one should not overlook a less conspicuous source of tension between Iran and its adversaries: the struggle for supremacy in cyber stealth, infiltration and industrial espionage. It’s a battle of the bytes that is not restricted to Teheran’s targets in Western countries, however. Iran regularly aims for its opponents in the Middle East as well as companies operating in the latter. The attacks are by no means one-way, of course: Western cyber-forces slither around Iran’s cyber networks in the same fashion, all probing one another’s capabilities in a silent cat-and-mouse game. And that points to a crucial issue, namely: the...

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One small nation preparing to fight fire with fire on cyber attacks

By BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – When it comes to the front-line for protection against cyber attacks, the Euro-Atlantic region splits into three categories of nations: those purely seeking the defensive, those who have added, or intend to add, cyber-offensive capabilities to their toolbox, and those who aren’t sure which way to go, but hope they can rely on the bigger members of the EU or NATO to protect their interests. So far, the Euro-Atlantic security community’s cyber-offensive club is an elite one comprising Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, the United States and, arguably, Canada, though the latter remains tight-lipped about the subject. Each has a dedicated cyber-command. With the exception of the Netherlands, whose population of 17 million puts it in the middling rank of European countries, all these cyber-offensive players are big. But that is about to change, however, with the entry by mid-2018 into the cyber-offensive realm of...

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US and European civil protection agencies explore greater cooperation, as natural disasters grow in strength and frequency

By PATRICK STEPHENSON , BRUSSELS – The year 2017 has proved deadly for natural catastrophes. Through the summer and early autumn, massive forest fires scorched vast areas of Spain, Portugal and Italy, windstorms caused fatalities in Germany and Poland in October, and unprecedented flooding hit Greece in November, killing more than 16 people. In response to each of these, the European Commission’s policy department for civil protection and humanitarian aid known as DG ECHO provided vital help. Across southern Europe, for example, it coordinated the provision of firefighting aircraft and EU satellite mapping images to national authorities. Across the Atlantic as Hurricane Maria landed in Puerto Rico, DG ECHO activated the emergency management service of the EU’s Copernicus satellite system at the request of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Copernicus provided maps of flooding on the island to support relief efforts. Such cooperation...

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Our choice: a centralised, streamlined approach to cyber security

A few years ago Lithuania took the steps deemed necessary to create its overall cyber security. Legislation was passed; institutions were selected to oversee various aspects of security (information, electronic, cyber, etc.); military and civilian responsibilities were apportioned, and so on. That was at the beginning of 2015 at a time when we thought our country’s adaptation and implementation of cyber policy was complete. It was a significant start...

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