Providing a more comprehensive and collaborative response to cyberattacks – Trilateral joins the CYBERSPACE Project

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Trilateral Research

Date: 2 February 2022

Trilateral Research has joined ten partners from eight EU countries in the launch of CYBERSPACE, a three-year project funded by the European Union Internal Security Fund – Police programme that aims to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the current state of cybercrime in the EU.  

In 2020, cyberattacks cost the global economy €5.5trillion, eroded public trust in institutions and put stress on millions of lives. Despite these threats, most law enforcement agencies and European countries lack the proper systems to gather and share information on cybercrime and have few mechanisms in place to tackle state-sponsored cyberattacks in a unified manner. 

“LEAs do not collaborate with businesses enough to leverage private sector contributions to intelligence. Existing investigative tools cannot compete with the increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. Moreover, the European public requires clear pathways to defend themselves against and report cybercrime,” says Holger Nitsch from the Bavarian Police Academy, Project Coordinator of CYBERSPACE. 

CYBERSPACE aims to address these gaps by: 

  • Providing LEAs, policymakers, and the private sector with a better picture of the extent of cybercrime and cyberattacks in the EU 
  • Improving public awareness and stimulating stakeholders to report cyberattacks to LEAs and CERTs 
  • Developing and enhancing investigative and forensic tools to strengthen the capacity of LEAs to investigate cybercrime and cyberattacks 
  • Fostering cross-border collaboration between LEAs to improve the efficiency of permanent contact points for cybercrime 
  • Increasing cooperation between European governments to deliver harmonised policy responses to cybercrime. 

Trilateral’s role 

In collaboration with other partners, Trilateral Research will work to provide public authorities with a more accurate representation of both reported and unreported cybercrime in the EU.  

The analysis will be used to consider different policy options, with attacks like the SolarWinds hack, perpetrated by Russia, as guiding case studies. Trilateral will work in partnership to coordinate a stakeholder group that will consider policy scenarios regarding the EU’s cybersecurity status. By engaging multiple stakeholders, governments, individuals, and businesses, we will gain a more holistic understanding of how cyberattacks are carried out and weaponised against society and its institutions.   

Trilateral Research will also address ethical and data protection issues and assess societal impacts to ensure the respect of privacy and compliance with ethics requirements and build public trust for the lawful use of the CYBERSPACE tools. An Ethics Advisory Board and a Stakeholder Board with invited external experts will help identify the measures needed to avoid unwanted negative impact or risks to fundamental rights. 

The CYBERSPACE project was formally launched at a virtual kick-off meeting on 9 December 2021. The meeting was attended by EC representatives and project partners across Europe – including the scientific community, LEAs, forensic institutes and government ministries. The project launch provided an opportunity to discuss the contributions of the different partners in relation to their areas of specialism and review the objectives of the project. 

Meet the Partners 

The CYBERSPACE project is coordinated by Holger Nitsch from the Bavarian Police Academy (BayHfoD) in Germany. Other consortium partners include Trilateral Research (IE), F-SECURE (Finland), FORTH – the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece), KEMEA – Center for Security Studies (Greece), Ertzaintza (Spain), PrivaNova (France), Ministry of Interior (France), Netherlands Forensic Institute (Netherlands), Swedish Police Authority (SPA), and Tecnalia (Spain).    

This project is funded by the European Union’s Internal Security Fund — Police (ISFP) programme under grant agreement No 101038738 

 For more information, please contact our team. 

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