WoW, Skype, Amazon and 1,300 others obliged to report major EU cyber incidents

  • Liam Tung (CSO Online)
  • — 08 February, 2013 11:24

Every single major internet service, from Amazon to World of Warcraft, will be obliged to report major cyber incidents under an EU directive proposed under Europe’s new cyber security strategy.

While Australia’s recent National Security Strategy encompassing cyber security was littered with talk of nation-state and cybercriminal threats and a plan to unify law enforcement, intelligence and Defence in one cyber room, Europe’s cybersecurity strategy unveiled on Thursday has taken a much wider view of network and information security.

The EU’s strategy was accompanied by its Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive, which places a major emphasis on network and service reliability in the functioning of society.

The directive, if implemented, will see over 1,300 internet companies subjected to a mandatory incident reporting regime aimed at shoring up networks. The directive is aimed at services that run on these networks, spanning VoiP, social networks, gaming networks and e-commerce sites. The only tech companies excluded are hardware makers.

From the X-aaS space, Amazon, Salesforce, VMware, Rackspace, Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Akaimai, Terramark, Tata and some carriers will be in scope of the Network and Information Security Directive. Over 770 providers are included in this category.

Retail services in scope include Google’s search, email and Google+, along with Yahoo, MSN Microsoft products like Bing and Hotmail, Ask, Amazon, Paypal, Dropbox, Apple iCloud, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, BlackBerry, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Wordpress, Instagram and Spotify. There are 30 companies in this category.

In addition, over 470 e-commerce sites will be obliged to report incidents, 50 game networks, such as Sony (Playstation), and World of Warcraft, and 50 app stores, such as those run by Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google and Vodafone.

Not all incidents must be reported, and companies won’t be forced to make them public, however a national authority companies may force public disclosure, depending on the gravity of the incident.

“Only incidents having a significant impact on the security of core services provided by market operators and public administrations will have to be reported to the competent national authority,” according to an EU document explaining the directive.

Examples include: an electricity outage caused by a NIS incident and having a detrimental effect on businesses; the unavailability of an online booking engine that prevents users from booking their hotels or of a cloud service provider that inhibits users to get access to their content; the compromise of air traffic control due to an outage or a cyber attack.

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Tags: amazon, eu, skype, wow

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Incident handling is a vast topic, but here are a few tips for you to consider in your incident response. I hope you never have to use them, but the odds are at some point you will and I hope being ready saves you pain (or your job!).


  1. Have an incident response plan.

  2. Pre-define your incident response team 

  3. Define your approach: watch and learn or contain and recover.

  4. Pre-distribute call cards.

  5. Forensic and incident response data capture.

  6. Get your users on-side.

  7. Know how to report crimes and engage law enforcement. 

  8. Practice makes perfect.

For the full breakdown on this article

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