The European Union is considering a system that would alert small and medium-size businesses to network and information security threats.

The name for the project is the European Information Sharing and Alert System (EISAS). The alert system could take the form of a Web portal that uses RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and SMS messages and other methods such as mailing lists and mass media contact.

A feasibility study is under way by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), the E.U.'s computer security agency, which was founded in 2004.

The study looks at how security information would best be gathered and distributed in multiple languages among SMBs across Europe, ENISA said in its quarterly newsletter. The alert system could include guidelines for best practices such as password security, current news on security threats such as viruses and worms, and recommendations for administrators.

The study is also considering the speed at which information could be distributed and how the information is sourced, such as from independent security organisations and vendors, ENISA said.

Other alert projects have been started, but so far, "none of them could be considered fully successful, at least on wide deployment," ENISA said in the newsletter.

ENISA also wants to make a conclusion on what the value of the system will be and if it will contribute to enhancing the overall security culture in Europe. The final study will be delivered in June in Germany.