Europe adopts a unified message against online criminals

Member states and different organisms of the European Union, as well as third Europol states, have joined forces to strengthen the current cooperation model in terms of prevention and awareness-raising for the reduction of cybercrime.

Under the coordination of the European Cybercrime Centre(EC3), representatives of 29 countries met with delegates of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security(ENISA) of the EU, the European Police College(CEPOL) and the European Crime Prevention Network(EUCPN) in the fourth forum of prevention and sensitisation in relation to cybercrime to assess the state and implementation of the current EU model of communication strategy. Launched in 2015, the model aims to align prevention and awareness-raising efforts to counter cybercriminals in UE member states and increase the effectiveness of educational materials.

Initiatives such as No More Ransom, Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object, Say No to child sexual coercion and extortion were presented and the European Money Mule Action among others, which could be achieved by optimising human and financial resources, both in the national and EU ambit.

The EC3 organises the Forum of Prevention and Sensitisation against cybercrime with the aim of facilitating the cohesion of activities and campaigns, the exchange of existing materials, the development of new ideas and the exchange of good practices. In the end, its purpose is to allow for a pan European dialogue between all police entities in terms of prevention and sensitisation, reinforcing the EU fight against cybercrime.

For Europol’s EC3 leaders, a large amount of the attacks the police have been informed of are neither sophisticated nor of an advanced level. Many of them are due to the lack of digital hygiene, the lack of security because of the design and the user’s lack of awareness. In this way, a crime that is prevented via education and awareness-raising could help police forces to save time and resources, which could be dedicated to more serious crimes happening online.

For the first time since its creation, members of the Cybercrime Taskforce (EUCTF) of the EU came together at the annual Forum event. L’EUCTF -an inter-institutional group integrated by heads of the Cybercrime unit, Europol, the European Commission and Eurojust- meet during the year to debate strategic and operational issues related to investigations and cybercrime cases within and beyond the EU.

As a result, joint discussions taking place at the Forum helped to generate specific recommendations about how to improve on the current model of cooperation and how to reinforce channels of communication for a continuous exchange of information. Cybercrime threats have been identified as requiring more urgent attention and establish the bases for the design of joint campaigns to be developed from 2018 onwards.


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