The European Union is to invest €450 million in a new cybersecurity-focused public private partnership.

Brussels said European Cyber Security Organisation members are expected to invest three times more in the partnership, a first for Europe.

Amid the increasing number and complexity of threats, it said the aim is to foster cooperation around research and innovation, and to build cybersecurity solutions for sectors, including energy, health, transport and finance.

National, regional and local public administrations, research centres and academia will also join the partnership, the Commission said.

Alongside increased cooperation, it promised to tackle fragmentation within Europe’s existing cybersecurity market by looking into establishing a continent-wide certification framework.

It said it wants to speed up the time it takes for products and services to be made available in Member States.

Further, it wants to ease access to finance for smaller businesses working in the field of cybersecurity.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: "Without trust and security, there can be no Digital Single Market.

“Europe has to be ready to tackle cyber-threats that are increasingly sophisticated and do not recognise borders.”

Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, added: "Europe needs high quality, affordable and interoperable cybersecurity products and services.

“There is a major opportunity for our cybersecurity industry to compete in a fast-growing global market.

“We call on Member States and all cybersecurity bodies to strengthen cooperation and pool their knowledge, information and expertise to increase Europe's cyber resilience.”

Telcos are seeing a boom in the amount of cyber-security related products that they are selling to their enterprise customers.

As a result, many are boosting their capabilities in this field.

In the last few months, for example, KPN has invested in Dutch threat intelligence provider EclecticIQ while Orange has acquired France-based IT security firm Lexsi.

Both Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone have launched new security-focused business units this year.

The European Commission announcement dovetailed with a new report on tackling digital from BT and KPMG.

It found that 97 percent of respondents have experienced a cyber-attack, with half of them reporting an increase in the last two years.

Mark Hughes, CEO Security, BT, said: “The industry is now in an arms race with professional criminal gangs and state entities with sophisticated tradecraft.

“With cyber-crime continuing to escalate, a new approach to digital risk is needed – and that means putting yourself in the shoes of attackers.”

Telcos are also targets of cyber crime themselves.

TalkTalk was the most recent high-profile victim, when a breach led to 95,000 customers quitting the telco.

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