Cybersecurity Activities and Initiatives
All of the activities and initiatives introduced by the Federal Chancellery of Austria in the areas of cybersecurity networks, collaborative projects and raising awareness are listed below.
Networks and cooperation
European and international committees
The Federal Chancellery of Austria represents the Republic of Austria in European and international bodies for cybersecurity.
You can find additional details in the current Cybersecurity Report for 2020.
At the EU level, the Federal Chancellery of Austria works with other public bodies to coordinate and represent the position of the Republic of Austria in the relevant cybersecurity groups.
The Horizontal Working Party on Cyber Issues plays a key role in this process. This body is responsible for the coordination of the Council of the European Union on cyber issues. It sets the EU's priorities and strategic objectives in relation to cyber issues, prepares legislation and provides a working platform that enables harmonisation and a consistent approach to cyber policy matters in the EU.
Further important groups at the EU level are in particular the NIS Cooperation Group and the European Cybersecurity Certification Group (ECCG). The Austrian Government Computer Emergency Response Team (GovCERT Austria) is a member of the EU's CSIRTs Network (CSIRTs — Computer Security Incident Response Teams) set up to provide a forum where members can cooperate, exchange information and form trust.
You can find additional details in the current Cybersecurity Report for 2020 and from the following sources:
- European Commission: Cybersecurity
- Council of the European Union: Cybersecurity
- ENISA - European Union Agency for Cybersecurity
- Horizontal Working Party On Cyber Issues
- NIS Cooperation Group
- European Cybersecurity Certification Group
- EU CSIRT Network
Cybersecurity Platform (CSP)
The Cyber Security Platform (CSP) is the central Austrian platform for cooperation between the private and public sectors on cybersecurity issues, with the close involvement of operators of critical infrastructure. It holds a plenary meeting once or twice a year and formulates recommendations in working groups. The Federal Chancellery of Austria runs the secretariat.
You can find further information about how the Cyber Security Platform operates and how it is structured in the Cybersecurity Report.
Chair of the CSP:
Austrian Trust Circle (ATC)
The Austrian Trust Circle is a national initiative for the exchange of technical information on ICT security and incidents. Its target groups include sectors of strategic infrastructure and Austria’s public administration. The ATC is an initiative organised by CERT.at and the Federal Chancellery, and consists of sector-specific security information exchanges.
CERT-Verbund Austria is a cooperation of Austrian Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT) in the field of cybersecurity, including the Government Computer Emergency Response Team for the public administration in Austria (GovCERT Austria). Its objective is to pool the available resources and optimise the use of collective know-how in order to guarantee the best possible level of ICT security.
More information is available in the Cybersecurity Report and at CERT-Verbund Austria (www.onlinesicherheit.gv.at, in German)
Project: Digital Ark (Federal Data Recovery System)
The objective of the ongoing "Digital Arch" project is to safely provide cultural and academic information in the long term with the involvement of the Central Backup Data Center (ZAS) of the Austrian Federal Government. It is the responsibility of the Federal Chancellery of Austria to manage the ZAS. In crisis situations, the ZAS should protect the ICT infrastructure, acting as a Central Backup Center at a secure location away from the Austrian capital.
Austrian Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection (APCIP)
In addition to natural disasters, technical accidents, human error, criminality and terrorism, the proper functioning of infrastructure may be jeopardised by cyber threats. The protection of critical infrastructure is a general government responsibility. In 2008, the Austrian Federal Government adopted the first Austrian Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection.
European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM)
The Federal Chancellery of Austria coordinates and regularly participates in the one-month, EU-wide campaign to raise people's and organisations' awareness of cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity exercises - Cyber Europe
The Federal Chancellery regularly takes part in various exercises on cybersecurity. These exercises provide experience which can be used for crisis management purposes. One important example is Cyber Europe - an EU-wide cyber exercise organised every two years by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA).
Austria Cybersecurity Challenge (ACSC)
The Austria Cyber Security Challenge is Austria's largest competition for hackers, where talented youngsters as well as experienced IT security specialists can showcase their skills and expertise. The ACSC is Austria's first talent search to recruit young and skilled people in the field of cybersecurity. The Federal Chancellery of Austria supports the ACSC, which is organised by the Association for Cyber Security Austria (CSA), the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence.
Austrian Information Security Management Handbook
The Austrian Information Security Management Handbook is a recognised standard for information security based on international standards and provides information in a very concise manner. This handbook makes a significant contribution to establishing and implementing comprehensive security concepts in public authorities and acts as a tool for businesses. At over 700 pages, the handbook describes and provides assistance with the procedure for establishing comprehensive Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) at companies and public authorities.