The European Commission (“EC”) has launched a public consultation on Improving Network and Information Security (“NIS”) in the EU, and is seeking the views of governments, businesses and citizens about their experiences and a proposed European response to cyber incidents.

The EC recognizes that NIS systems underpin complex computer systems in the finance and health sectors, and that NIS security incidents are on the rise. The consultation is aimed at helping the EC prepare a legislative proposal on network and information security, and to draw together ideas on countering cyber crime across Europe. In particular, the EC will look at “future risk management and security breach reporting requirements”.

In key questions, the consultation asks participants to give details of: (1) recent NIS incidents and their causes; (2) attempts to establish users’ awareness of cyber threats; and (3) the level of cyber security in the EU and effective ways of managing NIS risks. The consultation will also assist with the forthcoming joint strategy on cyber security produced by the EC and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The consultation runs until 12 October 2012.