EU Member States test their cybersecurity preparedness for free and fair EU elections

Cybersecurity EU Elections.pngThis article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Parliament, EU Member States, the Commission and the EU Cybersecurity Agency tested the EU’s response to and crisis plans for potential cybersecurity incidents affecting EU elections.

The objective of the exercise, which took place today in the European Parliament, was to test how effective EU Member States and the EU’s response practices and crisis plans are and to identify ways to prevent, detect and mitigate cybersecurity incidents that may affect the upcoming EU elections. This exercise is part of the measures being implemented by the European Union to ensure free and fair elections in May 2019.

Vice-President of the European Parliament Rainer Wieland said: ”Cyber-attacks are a recent but very real threat to the stability of the European Union and its Member States. A cyber-attack on elections could dramatically undermine the legitimacy of our institutions. The legitimacy of elections is based on the understanding that we can trust in their results. This very trust has come under pressure from cyber-attacks and other new types of election fraud in the Digital Age, and we must respond! With the upcoming European elections in 2019, we have to take responsibility and build up the necessary means to strengthen our electoral cyber security. This responsibility is a common one, shared by European and Member State institutions. Together we need to safeguard the integrity of the elections.”

Vice-President of the European Commission, for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: ”We must protect our free and fair elections. This is the cornerstone of our democracy. To secure our democratic processes from manipulation or malicious cyber activities by private interests or third countries, the European Commission proposed in September 2018 a set of actions. Together with the EU Member States, and other EU Institutions we are implementing these actions. We also decided to test our cybersecurity vigilance and readiness towards secure, fair and free EU elections 2019 by organising the first in its kind EU exercise on elections. I believe that this is an important step forward for more resilient EU elections in a connected society.”

More than 80 representatives from EU Member States, together with observers from the European Parliament, the European Commission and the EU Agency for cybersecurity (ENISA), participated in this first EU table-top exercise (with the code name EU ELEx19) on the resilience of the upcoming European Parliament elections. The main responsibility for protecting the integrity of the elections lies with the Member States, and the overall objective of the exercise was to test and further strengthen their preparedness – especially their election and cybersecurity authorities – in the face of hybrid cyber-enabled threats, and to assess their ability to swiftly develop and maintain situational awareness at national and EU level if a serious cybersecurity incident which could impact on the integrity of the 2019 EU elections were to occur.
Based on various scenarios featuring cyber-enabled threats and incidents, the exercise allowed participants to:

  • Acquire an overview of the level of resilience (in terms of policies adopted, available capabilities and skills) of election systems across the EU, including an assessment of the level of awareness among other stakeholders (e.g. political parties, electoral campaign organisations and suppliers of relevant IT equipment);
  • Enhance cooperation between relevant authorities at national level (including elections authorities and other relevant bodies and agencies, such as cybersecurity authorities, Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs), the Data protections Authority (DPA), authorities dealing with disinformation issues, cybercrime units, etc.);
  • Verify EU Member States’ capacity to adequately assess the risks related to the cybersecurity of European elections, promptly develop situational awareness and co-ordinate communication to the public;
  • Test existing crisis management plans as well as relevant procedures to prevent, detect, manage and respond to cybersecurity attacks and hybrid threats, including disinformation campaigns;
  • Improve cross-border cooperation and strengthen the link with relevant cooperation groups at EU level (e.g. Election Cooperation Network, NIS Cooperation Group, CSIRTs Network) in order to improve the capacity to respond in a coordinated manner in the event of cross-border cybersecurity incidents;
  • Identify all other potential gaps as well as adequate risk mitigation measures which should be implemented ahead of the European Parliament elections.

Background

On 12 September 2018 the European Commission announced a set of concrete measures to address potential threats to elections, including a recommendation of the European Commission on election cooperation networks, online transparency, fighting disinformation campaigns and protection against cybersecurity incidents.

In line with this European Commission recommendation, a European Cooperation Network on elections has been established. This network has already met three times in Brussels to discuss necessary actions to address potential threats to the elections and thereby strengthen the resilience of the European Union’s democratic systems. One of the actions that this network decided to pursue was the organisation of a table-top exercise to test EU’s cybersecurity preparedness to ensure secure, free and fair EU elections 2019.

Today’s cybersecurity test also goes hand-in-hand with the Action Plan against disinformation that the European Union adopted last December to build up capabilities and strengthen cooperation between Member States and EU institutions to proactively address the threats posed by disinformation.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

It’s time to ‘eliminate the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence’, urges UN chief

Freshwater is saltier – and it’s bad for the planet and our health

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

Fear casts again a cold, ugly shadow over Europe; Turkey sides with Russia

Global hunger is on the rise. These simple steps could help eradicate it

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

Parliament pushes for cleaner cars on EU roads by 2030

At COP24, countries agree concrete way forward to bring the Paris climate deal to life

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change and youth inaction: oblivion or nonchalance?”, AIESEC wonders from Brussels

UN should be ‘exemplary’ in defending judicial independence, top Judge tells Security Council

Novartis and Johnson & Johnson to deprive Europeans of their right to Health

Europe to turn the Hamburg G20 Summit into a battlefield

1st Exclusive High Level Dialogue: China-EU Cybersecurity and 5G Cooperation

Can one FTA and 110 lobby meetings make the dirty oil clean in Europe?

5G mobile is nearly here – but we should share networks to make it affordable

Online radio and news broadcasts: Parliament and Council reach deal

Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May at last week’s EU Council. Source: EC Audiovisual Services / Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte

EU leaders open “Phase Two” of Brexit talks and warn Theresa May of tougher times

UN welcomes ‘record’ Brussels conference pledge of nearly $7 billion to support Syrians

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

Is sub-Saharan Africa ready for the electric vehicle revolution?

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

Advanced economies still have plenty of work to do to reach Sustainable Development Goals

EU agrees on Ukraine – Georgia visa-free travel amid veto risks and populist fears

Why India can show us how to achieve growth with purpose

Breaking news: Juncker’s Commission mutant trojan horse is on the loose in Strasbourg

UN expresses concern following wave of street protests in Iraq and elsewhere

Heat-resistant crops, ‘green’ infrastructure, can prepare Near East and North Africa to better tackle droughts – UN agency

FIAT Chrysler: from Geneva Motor show to the World, and back

The EU threatens to occupy Libya militarily; is another colonial war brewing?

Three-quarters of South Sudanese children have known nothing but war, says UNICEF

Ahead of street protests, UN rights chief urges Guatemalan Government to respect democratic freedoms

UN report sheds light on ‘unimaginable horrors’ faced by migrants and refugees in Libya, and beyond

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

All talk but no action against fraudulent bankers

Poland: €676 million worth of EU investments in better rails and roads

United States: UN human rights office welcomes California moratorium on death penalty

TTIP’s 11th round starts in Miami but EU-US businesses see no sunny side

EU Copyright Directive: Google News threatens to leave Europe while media startups increasingly worry

China dazzles the world with her Silk Road plan to connect, Asia, Europe and Africa

The ECB again takes care of the bankers not the people

High-flyers: China is on top of the world for skyscraper construction

Remembering slave trade offers chance to raise awareness, ‘oppose all forms of modern slavery’ – UNESCO

A Sting Exclusive: “Youth voice must be heard in climate change negotiations!”, Bérénice Jond Board Member of European Youth Forum demands from Brussels

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

AI-driven companies need to be more diverse. Here’s why

Brexit: new European Parliament reaffirms wholehearted support for EU position

More than nine in ten children exposed to deadly air pollution

What’s going on in Chernobyl today?

Brexit: Only Corbyn and May in concert can make the needed compromises

Is your business model fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

The cost of housing is tearing our society apart

State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

The green hydrogen revolution has started, and it won’t be stopped

The global issue of migration in 2017

Parliament names radio studio after journalists murdered in December attack

Greece did it again

World Food Day: here’s what the UN is doing to fix ‘intolerable’ wrong of hunger

Digital Single Market: Survey shows Europeans are well aware of rules against unjustified geo-blocking

Pakistan: UN Security Council condemns ‘heinous and cowardly’ terrorist attacks

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s