Digital Agenda: European Commission supports research on Cyber security


Cybercrime is a growing global problem that no company or country can tackle alone. At any given time, an estimated 150 000 viruses and other types of malicious code are circulating across the internet, infecting more than a million people every day. Anti-virus software developer McAfee counts 75 million unique pieces of malicious malware code on its databases, with botnets spewing out spam that account for a third of all the emails sent every day. Bots are one of the most sophisticated and popular types of cybercrime today. They allow hackers to take control of many computers at a time, and turn them into “zombie” computers, which operate as part of a powerful “botnet” to spread viruses, generate spam, and commit other types of online crime and fraud. The worldwide cost of cybercrime is estimated at over €750 billion annually in wasted time, lost business opportunities and the expense of fixing problems.

In addition to developing wider cybersecurity strategies for Europe, the European Commission takes concrete actions to tackle cyber security risks, and pools resources with national governments, industry, universities and NGOs, to develop innovative technologies to improve cybersecurity.

For the period 2007-2013, the European Commission has spent about €350 million in cyber security research; from 2013 to 2020, €400 million is earmarked to support key enabling & industrial technologies such as cyber security, privacy and trust technologies, and an additional €450 million is earmarked for ‘Secure Societies’ research which includes aspects of cybersecurity.

The following EU-funded projects address the big issues facing cybersecurity: cost, speed and long-term security; helping to keep computer users one step ahead of the hackers, Trojans and viruses plaguing the online world today. Here to read more.

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