Cyber attack reporting will boost defence capability, says Neelie Kroes

The European Commission is considering making it mandatory for companies to report cyber attacks, says vice-president Neelie Kroes

The European Commission (EC) is considering making it mandatory for companies to report cyber attacks to harness the benefits of open dialogue, says vice-president Neelie Kroes.

Despite industry opposition, open discussion about cyber threats is vital to enable organisations to learn and improve understanding of the issue, she told the German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Details of the EU’s plans are likely to be revealed later this year with the publication of the its cyber security strategy.

Kroes, who is responsible for the EU’s Digital Agenda, believes cloud computing may give new impetus to the faltering economy, provided people are confident that the new model is reasonably secure.

The EC predicts that cloud computing could boost European economic output by €160bn a year because of increased efficiencies and lower cost access to resources by smaller companies.

Kroes believes that increased use of cloud technologies will also create 2.5 million jobs by 2020 and help redress high unemployment among youth across Europe.

In January, Kroes called on public authorities, industry, cloud buyers and suppliers to come together in a European cloud partnership.

Calling for action to support the speedy uptake of cloud computing in Europe at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Kroes said the main obstacles to cloud adoption like standards, certification, data protection, interoperability, lock-in, and legal certainty needed to be addressed.

The EC has established a working group to address the need for common technical standards to support and grow the cloud computing industry.

The working group is set to tackle thorny issues such as what happens to organisations’ data after the cloud services contract expires.

In early November, the steering board of the new European Cloud Partnership (ECP) met in Brussels to kick off the process of building an EU Digital Single Market for cloud computing.

The board aims to make the most of the public sector's buying power to shape the growing market for cloud computing services.

The ECP will develop common computing procurement requirements for use by EU member states and create a common framework for cloud computing across Europe.

The ECP is also tasked with stimulating the migration of public IT to the cloud by resolving barriers to cloud computing adoption in the public sector.

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