Private enterprises unite to form European Cyber Security Group

The founding members of the ECSG include Danish CSIS, Dutch Fox-IT, French Lexsi, and Spanish S21sec. Together, the members contribute more than 600 experts to the group’s efforts. As such, ECSG has effectively become the largest European provider of Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) services for corporate and government clients.

Members work independently and can draw from additional and specialized resources from their ECSG partners where and when needed.

“While every country in Europe has an agency dedicated to the mission of securing its electronic borders, cooperation between countries is rare, making efforts to protect citizens and prosecute perpetrators increasingly difficult,” the group said in its coming-out statement. “ECSG seeks to address this through a combination of partnership and advocacy, using the combined strength of its more than 600 cybersecurity experts to respond in a rapid and efficient manner. By tackling CERT engagements as partners, they each bring their firms’ uniqueness to bear to deliver faster and more complete services in agile ways that a single, large organization simply cannot.”

Being made up of private firms, the ECSG also said that it will use its combined “front-line experience” to advise governments, corporations and regulators on more effective and practical cyber defense policy issues, risk prevention and mitigation practices, and cross-border information sharing.

Careful to note that it would be acting within the law, ECSG said that its partners will confidentially exchange up-to-the-minute threat intelligence and information trends, bypassing the red tape that would normally occur due to jurisdictional issues across borders. Such information would also be shared with government agencies in order to further the efforts of local law enforcement to combat cybercrime.

The group will also collaborate with the governments of individual countries, as well as the European Union, to advise on best practices and assist on cybersecurity engagements where necessary to ensure speedy mitigation of security issues.

It also plans to lobby local and EU lawmakers to enact legislation to ease cross-border information sharing and cooperation that will ultimately lead to a more secure Europe.

“It is an unfortunate fact of the world we live in today that insufficient preparedness and limited cross-border cooperation can hamper our response to cyber incidents and cybercrime,” said Paul Timmers, director of the directorate sustainable and secure society in the European Commission, and directorate-general of communications networks, content and technology. “This should not, however, prevent us from mitigating the effects of attacks on the victims. The mission of the ECSG is to be applauded; by leveraging the expertise and personnel from its member companies, the group will enhance cooperation and lawful sharing of information for quick and effective response to cyber-attacks. It will hopefully strengthen public-private cooperation, which is one of the key priorities of the EU Cybersecurity Strategy."

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