As part of an EU drive to combat the growth of cybercrime across member states, a new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) based at Europol headquarters in The Hague opens Friday 11th January.
A press statement says that EC3 will be “the focal point in the EU’s fight against cybercrime, protecting citizens and businesses against cybercrime threats.”
Europol says that EU internet users remain concerned about cyber security with 89% avoiding disclosing personal information online and 74% agreeing that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime has increased in the past year, according to its own research.
“EU citizens and businesses require an open, free and transparent cyberspace so we need to protect the online world just as we do the off-line world. EC3 will be a valuable tool for the EU and its Member States to help co-ordinate and support efforts that keep the internet safe from criminals.” said Troels Oerting, Head of EC3.
The new centre is designed to pool expertise and information, support criminal investigations and promote EU-wide solutions, while raising awareness of cybercrime issues and building operational and analytical capacity across the EU, according to Europol. It will focus on combating organized crime groups, financial attacks, online child sexual exploitation and attacks on the critical infrastructure of the EU itself.
“The Cybercrime Centre (EC3) will focus our efforts and provide a strong boost to the EU’s capacity to fight cybercrime. We need to reduce cybercrime activities, contain the threat and ensure the digital environment remains a secure place for our citizens and businesses. This is key for the EU’s internet-based economy.” said EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström.