Today 23 EU Member States, ENISA and the European Commission meet in Paris for the two day Blue OLEx 2019 European cyber-crisis management exercise, which will operate within the framework of the NIS cooperation group.
France jointly proposed this new format, along with Spain, to bring together the different stakeholders. Guillaume Poupard, director general of ANSSI (France’s national cyber-defence and network and information security authority - Agence Nationale de la securite des Systemes d’information) commented: "The Blue OLEx 2019 exercise illustrates the Member States’ engagement to define efficient and voluntary cooperation and exchange procedures, to collectively manage cyber-related crisis situations impacting European countries."
Discussions will include mechanisms to be implemented to efficiently manage a cyber crisis affecting the EU Member States. This exercise will document the operational level of the European cyber crisis response’s framework so as to organise political decision-making in such a scenario. Technical work would then be carried out by the national incident response teams, in cooperation with the CERT-EU and ENISA.
The aim is thus to deepen voluntary cooperation at an operational level in case of cyber crisis. The Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive established a framework for voluntary cooperation at the technical level between Member States through the CSIRTs network, which was tested during the Cyber Europe 2018 exercise.
In 2017, the European Commission also adopted a recommendation - Blueprint, which proposes that Member States and the European institutions agree on European cooperation and exchange procedures for the management of major incidents and cyber-crises.Three levels of crisis management are identified: political, operational, technical. In June 2018 Member States then called for the establishment of a European framework for cooperation in the management of cyber-crises, while still "respecting sovereign prerogatives."
Feedback over the next few months will then be used to inform drafting of European 2 cooperation and exchange procedures, which complete the procedures already in place at the technical and political levels, as well as highlighting current and future European cyber-security challenges.