European ICT users could be offered more protection thanks to two initiatives from the European Commision.  The body is seeking outside help to improve Internet and telecoms security in the European Union.

It has announced two calls for tender for protecting critical infrastructures in the IT sector - one worth €500,000 (£400,000) over a nine-month period, the other worth €400,000 (£320,000) over a 12-month period. The deadline for submissions in both tenders is 6 October.

The two contracts will complement the work carried out by ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency), the Commission said. ENISA was set up by the Commission to spearhead efforts to improve network security in the EU.

"These two open calls for tenders form part of the ongoing EU programme on Prevention, Preparedness and Consequence Management of Terrorism and other Security Related Risks for the period 2007-2013," the Commission said.

The main objective of the first contract is to help define criteria for identifying European critical IT and telecommunications infrastructure.

The second contract is to identify how emergency preparedness in the field of fixed and mobile telecommunications as well as the Internet could be enhanced across the European Union.

"Achieving this objective is a key element in improving the overall robustness and resilience of European electronic communication networks," the Commission said.