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Europol leads initiative to pool cyber crime intelligence

Warwick Ashford

The International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) has launched an initiative to pool cyber crime intelligence from business, government, law enforcement, security agencies and IT security professionals.

Called Project 2020, the study will be led by European law enforcement agency Europol.

Project 2020 will analyse current trends in cyber crime and how they may evolve over the next eight years and beyond.

The European Commission recently designated Europol as its information hub on cyber crime and asked the agency to establish the European Cybercrime Centre.

Also contributing to the study will be the City of London Police and the European Network and Information Security Agency (Enisa).

“During the past 24 months, critical infrastructure in countries around the world has been under daily cyber attack from both organised criminal networks and state-sponsored entities,” said John Lyons, ICSPA chief executive.

Project 2020 is designed to combine the expertise of leading law enforcement agencies with that of the ICSPA’s member companies, organisations and professional communities

Business members joining Project 2020 include payment services firm Visa Europe, the UK’s largest home shopping retailer Shop Direct Group. 

They will be joined by leading cyber security companies McAfee, CGI Canada, Atos, Cassidian, Digiware, Core Security and Trend Micro.

Tom Kellermann, vice-president cyber security at Trend Micro said: “The burgeoning shadow economy has become more organised and sophisticated in 2012. 

"The cyber crime industry is now controlled by organised crime and has become service-oriented. The lawlessness of cyber space challenges us to civilise the landscape. Only through international public/private partnerships like the ICSPA can we sustain the e-commerce environment and protect it from the numerous guilds of cyber thieves.”

Also participating in Project 2020 are experts from two global professional communities - the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 and the International Association of Public Prosecutors.

“Cyber crime is notoriously difficult to tackle given the international structure and capabilities of some of the criminal networks we see in operation," said Lyons.

"It used to be inherently difficult to combine international efforts to fight cyber crime; this project will, for the first time, bring together experts globally, with a remit to identify and fix weaknesses in our systems before they come to market."

The ICSPA is a business-led, not-for-profit organisation chaired by former UK home secretary David Blunkett MP.


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