Members of the European Parliament agreed Thursday on a draft measure that would require members to adopt standard terms of imprisonment for those convicted of cybercrimes.
Monika Hohlmeier, a German member of the EP, said enforcement measures should be comprehensive because cybercrime knows no borders.
"This directive introduces much-needed common rules for criminal law penalties, and also aims to facilitate joint measures to prevent attacks and foster information exchange among competent authorities," she said in a statement.
The measure would require EU member states to set a minimum two-year prison sentence for cybercrimes related to the illegal access of information systems or to the illegal interception of Internet-based communications.
A minimum prison sentence of five years is proposed for cybercrimes targeting power plants, government networks or other systems designated as "critical infrastructure."
The proposal would go to a vote next month.
NATO defense ministers reviewed their defense against cyberthreats during a ministerial conference Tuesday in Brussels. The alliance said cybercrime is a critical threat to its members.