The project is a 3-year initiative funded by the European Commission to support European law enforcement agencies and improve their capacity to investigate and counter cyber crime.
The project begins at a time when cyber crime is becoming an increasingly pressing concern in Europe. Europe experienced more security incidents in 2021 than the year before, according to the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), with particularly significant threats that have a direct impact on networks, systems, and people within the EU experiencing a constant increase.
The trend is a notable challenge for Europe: The EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade outlines a number of ways that cyber threats can undermine the EU’s economy, democracy, and society, such as discouraging people from using digital services, or compromising critical infrastructure.
“Europe’s investing heavily in digitalization, and policy makers recognize security’s important role in ensuring these investments pay off. But information, resources, and expertise to counter cyber threats are spread thin and difficult to mobilize when needed,” said project coordinator Dr. Holger Nitsch, the head of research and social science for the Bavarian Police Academy. “Different organizations in different countries often have different pieces of the same puzzle, which makes it difficult for any single entity to see the big picture when investigating security incidents and criminal activities that span multiple countries.”
The CYBERSPACE consortium is composed of 11 law enforcement agencies, businesses, and research organizations from 8 different countries: Bavarian Police Academy (Germany), Trilateral Research (Ireland), WithSecure (Finland), FORTH (Greece), KEMEA Center for Security Studies (Greece), Privanova (France), French Ministry of the Interior (France), Netherlands Forensics Institute (Netherlands), Swedish National Forensics Institute (Sweden), Ertzaintza (Spain), and Tecnalia (Spain).
The group aims to help organizations work together to compile and share information and intelligence related to cyber attacks and cyber crime. It also aims to develop new tools to help law enforcement and other defenders investigate and respond to attacks.
WithSecure has the unique distinction of being the consortium’s sole member from the cyber security industry. As a result, it will take leading roles in the consortium’s efforts to enhance cooperation between law enforcement and the private sector, as well as in developing law enforcements’ cyber attack investigation capabilities.
“WithSecure’s decades of experience in combining human expertise and technology to protect our customers give us a unique understanding of cyber attacks. Bringing this perspective into the CYBERSPACE consortium will surely help different stakeholders across Europe in working together to understand and counter threats to the security and prosperity of individuals and organizations in Europe, advancing in such areas as attacker tactics analysis and remote digital forensics,” said WithSecure Chief Technology Officer Christine Bejerasco.