EU adopts EU Law Enforcement Emergency Response Protocol for massive cyberattacks

Europol announced the EU Law Enforcement Emergency Response Protocol new protocol for law enforcement agencies in the European Union and abroad to handle major cross-border cyberattacks.

Europol announced the adoption of a new protocol for law enforcement bodies in the EU and abroad to respond to major cyber cross-border cyberattacks.

The protocol dubbed EU Law Enforcement Emergency Response Protocol aims at handling major attacks such as massive WannaCry and NotPetya attacks.

“To prepare for major cross-border cyber-attacks, an EU Law Enforcement Emergency Response Protocol has been adopted by the Council of the European Union.” reads the press release published by the Europol. “The Protocol gives a central role to Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and is part of the EU Blueprint for Coordinated Response to Large-Scale Cross-Border Cybersecurity Incidents and Crises.”

The protocol supports the EU law enforcement authorities rapidly respond to major cross-border cyberattacks. The protocol promotes a rapid assessment, the secure and timely sharing of critical information, and the coordination of investigations is a multinational context.

The Protocol is adopted to only respond to cyber security events caused by both nation-state actors and cybercriminals, incidents caused by natural disasters or ones resulting from human error or system failure are out of the scope of the protocol.

The EU Law Enforcement Emergency Response Protocol is a multi-stakeholder process and is composed of the following stages:

  • early detection and identification of a major cyberattack;
  • classification of the threat;
  • establishing a coordination center for emergency response;
  • early warning notifications;
  • an operational action plan for law enforcement;
  • investigation of the incident;
  • emergency response protocol closure.

“The EU Law Enforcement Emergency Response Protocol determines the procedures, roles and responsibilities of key players both within the EU and beyond; secure communication channels and 24/7 contact points for the exchange of critical information; as well as the overall coordination and de-confliction mechanism,” Europol said.

“It is of critical importance that we increase cyber preparedness in order to protect the EU and its citizens from large scale cyber-attacks”,  Wil van Gemert, Deputy Executive Director of Operations at Europol, said. “Law enforcement plays a vital role in the emergency response to reduce the number of victims affected and to preserve the necessary evidence to bring to justice the ones who are responsible for the attack.”

Pierluigi Paganini

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