Supply chain, Vulnerability Management

US-EU expand access to cybersecurity tools for small businesses

A giant flag of the European Union flies at the Arc de Triomphe on the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the euro on Jan. 1, 2022, in Paris. (Photo by Kiran Ridley/Getty Images)

The U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) on Monday announced that they are deepening U.S.-EU cooperation by expanding access to cybersecurity tools for small- and medium-sized businesses and securing critical supply chains, such as semiconductors.

In a joint statement, the TTC said the U.S. and EU will collaborate closely on emerging technology standards, climate and clean technology objectives. They will also focus on data governance and technology platforms, information and communications technology services’ (ICTS) security and competitiveness, and the misuse of technology threatening security and human rights. 

As part of the statement, the TTC released specific goals they will work on, including:

  • U.S.-EU guide to cybersecurity best practices for small- and medium-sized companies, whose business is impacted disproportionally from cyber threats.
  • Development of a joint roadmap on evaluation and measurement tools for trustworthy artificial intelligence and risk management, as well as a common project on privacy-enhancing technologies.
  • A dedicated taskforce to promote the use of trusted/non-high-risk ICTS suppliers.
  • A new cooperation framework on issues related to information integrity in crises, particularly on digital platforms, with a focus on ongoing issues related to Russian aggression, including Russia’s actions to manipulate and censor information.

Collaborative efforts between the U.S. and EU is welcome news and, frankly, needed because of emerging cyber threats that put daily pressure on security analysts and threat hunters to locate and stop risks before they can cause material damage, said Sam Curry, chief security officer at Cybereason.

“In a soon-to-be-released ransomware report, Cybereason found that nearly 70% of the time, ransomware actors made their way into an organization through a supply chain partner's weakness,” Curry said. “Only time will tell if this alarming statistic be a wake-up call to organizations or again fall on deaf ears.”

John Dickson, vice president at Coalfire, said although cooperation on trade matters isn’t as stunning as Finland and Sweden joining NATO, it’s significant nonetheless. Dickson said supply chain disruption from Russian and Ukrainian suppliers most certainly affects European manufacturers compared to their U.S. counterparts. 

“This reality will also drive deeper cooperation with the European Union on a variety of fronts, including cybersecurity,” Dickson said. “If there are any Russian attempts by to expand the conflict outside Ukraine in the cybersecurity realm, closer cooperation on that front will be an imperative.”

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