EU security agency: LinkedIn, RIM should face incident reporting legislation

ENISA wants to close the gaps online services could slip through.

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) is pushing for online service providers like LinkedIn and network providers like Research in Motion to be included under Europe's tough data protection laws for telecoms providers.

The suggestion, outlined in its Cyber Incident Reporting in the EU document, stems from the observation that LinkedIn would not be required to report its recent password leak under Europe's proposed data protection laws because it impacted personal data.

The current set of proposals (PDF) would compel any company with a presence in Europe to report a breach if personal data is involved.

The LinkedIn incident however was not covered by the EU's existing telecoms regulation, despite it having an impact on businesses and communications -- exactly what the regulation is meant to cover.

“The Data Protection reform is focussed on processing of personal data, not on businesses,” ENISA information security officer Dr Marnix Dekker told

“It is not meant to replace or address the more general issue of privacy and security of electronic communications. The telecom framework focusses on privacy and security of communications of subscribers – be they citizens or businesses, regardless of what goes over the wire.”

This scenario was one example ENISA used to highlight “regulatory gaps” in existing and proposed data protection laws, which could be closed by changing the interpretation of “services” under, for example, Europe's telecoms regulatory framework.

LinkedIn’s breach was one of five “severe” real-world cases ENISA used to illustrate how existing and proposed data protection laws would apply.

Others included the 2011 Dagmar storm which knocked out telecommunications for millions across Scandinavia for up to two weeks; RIM’s 2011 data centre and messaging outage affecting millions of people, particularly in the financial services sector; the DigiNotar certificate breach in the Netherlands; and the China Telecom “IP hijacking” incident which briefly re-routed 15 per cent of the world’s internet traffic through servers in China.

While the Dagmar incident was covered under telecoms reporting requirements, and DigiNotar will be covered by new requirements for ‘trust services’, the LinkedIn, RIM and China Telecom incidents were “not clearly in scope or the subject of debate between providers and the national regulator”, according to ENISA.

The EU could widen the interpretation of telecoms services “because the landscape of electronic communications is continuously changing (from landline telephones and minitel in the past, to mobile phones, internet and VoIP),” it said.

"We are looking at these issues from the perspective of the subscribers (business or citizens) who expect electronic communications to be secure and private," said Dekker.

Follow @CSO_Australia and sign up to the CSO Australia newsletter.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about China TelecometworkEUMotionResearch In MotionResilience

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Liam Tung

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts