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EU member states could fall under a unified approach to tackling cybercrime if a new law gets the go-ahead.

Under the proposals, all countries would need to set up Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and appoint a national authority to be responsible for network and information security.

Discussing the new law, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said: “Trust and confidence should be improved not only between states but also between the private and public sector.

“So, the strategy we are launching today sets a number of priorities to improve IT systems, reduce cybercrime and establish an international cyber space policy for the EU,” she said.

The new legislation would also mean certain victims of cybercrimes, such as banks, airports, energy companies and hospitals would have to report online attacks. That is something many are reluctant to do because of possible costs and damage to reputations.

Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, described why the new law is necessary: “If we want to be credible in our efforts to fight cybercrime we need better legislation, more resources and better coordination. We have already advanced quite a lot but we need to do much more.”

The EU law is meant to drastically reduce cybercrimes – like hacking and malware – through a coordinated defence policy.

However, companies are worried about the potential costs of implementing the new measures.

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