Critical sectors, such as transport, energy, health and finance, have become increasingly dependent on digital technologies to run their core business. While growing digital connectivity brings enormous opportunities, it also exposes economies and societies to cyber-threats. The number, complexity and scale of cybersecurity incidents are growing, as is their economic and social impact.
The coronavirus pandemic has triggered an unforeseen acceleration in the digital transformation of societies around the world. Yet, it has also exacerbated existing problems, such as the digital divide, and contributed to a global rise in cybersecurity incidents. During this unprecedented situation, there has been an increase in malicious cyber-activity across Member States, as revealed by a recent Europol report. Cybersecurity issues are becoming a day-to-day struggle for the EU.
According to monitoring reports from the EU Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA),cybercrime is becoming increasingly monetised, particularly in the case of major cyber-attacks that use ransomware. Likewise, increased e-commerce and cashless payments bring heightened risks of cybercrime attacks and cybersecurity breaches. With payments becoming increasingly cashless, online theft – of money and also of personal data – has been on the rise.
An ENISA Threat Landscape 2021 report demonstrates that cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated, targeted, widespread and undetected, and concludes that societies face a long road ahead before they canensure a more secure digital environment.