Press Release

Standard Operational Procedures to manage multinational cyber-crises finalised by EU, EFTA Member States and ENISA

Today, with the development of the EU-Standard Operational Procedures (EU-SOPs), a milestone has been reached for the management of multinational cyber crises. These procedures were developed by the EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Member States in collaboration with the EU Agency ENISA.

Published on February 05, 2014

The EU-SOPs give guidance on how to manage major cyber incidents that would escalate to a crisis. In particular, the EU-SOPs emphasise that in order to successfully manage cyber crises, direct links to the decision makers and political leadership level(s) are required.

The objective of the EU-SOPs is to aid in the response to major cyber incidents, which can escalate to a cyber crisis.[1] In particular, these procedures will help to increase the understanding of the causes and impact of multinational cyber crises (situational awareness) and allow for quick and effective mitigation. Through a combination of contact points, guidelines, workflows, templates, tools, and good practices, the EU-SOPs offer European crisis managers the ability to use the internationally shared technical and non-technical information to draw an integrated operational picture and identify effective action plans. These can be presented to the political level for decision making.

Multinational cyber crisis management requires the strong involvement of technical experts, while the operational crisis managers become more important as the criticality of incidents escalates over time. Most importantly, direct links to the decision makers at the strategic and political level are also considered essential.

The Executive Director of ENISA, Professor Udo Helmbrecht, noted: “An effective response to multinational crises requires cross country cooperation for fast assessment and mitigation. These procedures will address the need for a handbook for predefined, commonly agreed upon and exercised operational contacts, procedures and processes.”

For more information on ENISA cyber crisis cooperation


The draft EU-SOPs have been tested over the last three years, including during the pan-European exercises organised by ENISA: Cyber Atlantic in 2011 and Cyber Europe in 2012. The procedures are available for all public authorities of the EU/EFTA Member States involved in managing multinational cyber crises.

See also the proposed EU Cyber Security Strategy and the proposed NIS Directive.


For interviews:

Ulf Bergström, Spokesman, [email protected], mobile: + 30 6948 460 143, or Dr. Panagiotis Trimintzios, Expert, [email protected]

[1] A cyber crisis is defined as an event or a series of events, natural or man-made, declared as such by a country. A multinational cyber crisis is where the causes or impact concern at least two countries.



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