Estonia’s Information System Authority: cyber criminals are becoming more resourceful

According to a new yearbook by the Estonian Information System Authority, the department that ensures the interoperability of the country’s information system, cyber criminals are becoming increasingly resourceful and find new ways to exploit unsuspecting people.

The newly published yearbook describes the role of the departments of the Information System Authority in the digital state (e-state) and gives an overview of cyber incidents of 2019 in Estonia.

“Last year was full of changes for the Information System Authority. A large part of our management changed, creating an essentially new mindset for the authority. New people mean new ideas and new directions to boost the e-state,” Margus Noormaa, the director-general of the authority, said in a statement.

“So far, our annual summaries have focused on cybersecurity, but in the new book, we cover all of [the authority’s] areas of activity and the authority’s future plans as well as discuss cyberattacks and prevention thereof.”

Up to the state to identify and mitigate threats

As digital services are becoming more popular, cyber criminals are becoming increasingly resourceful and finding new ways to exploit unsuspecting people, the yearbook says. “Therefore, more and more efforts are needed to make our services work at all times and in all situations. At the same time, we must not forget to educate people.”

“The threats of the digital world are changing and our citizens and businesses are increasingly being targeted. It is up to the state to identify and mitigate these threats at an early stage.”

The yearbook in a physical form (the Estonian Information System Authority).

According to the Information System Authority, international cooperation is becoming increasingly important because cybercrime knows no borders. “According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Risks Report, three of the ten main risks stem from technology and our inability to adequately protect it.”

“In addition, ordinary people are increasingly aware of the dangers of the cyber world and want the state to help them cope with those dangers. That is why we need to invest even more in cybersecurity – the internet and cybercriminals are here to stay. The digital state largely depends on trust, and the role of the state is to build that trust. Secure solutions require money and investments.”

A year of phishing

The authority said in an accompanying press release that in the Estonian cyberspace, 2019 was the year of phishing, as the frequency of phishing data from users and the number of websites created for this purpose doubled. Last year, the authority’s incident response department received almost 25,000 notifications of cyber incidents.

“More than 3,000 among those caused disruptions in the confidentiality, integrity or availability of information or systems.”

The full yearbook of the Information System Authority is available on its website.

The Estonian Information System Authority coordinates the development and administration of information systems ensuring the interoperability of the state’s information system, organises activities related to information security, and handles security incidents in Estonian computer networks.

The cover image is illustrative. Photo by Markus Spiske/Unsplash.

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