The EU Cyber Security Agency (ENISA) has published the 2019-2020 threat scenario. This is the eighth edition but also the first since the entry into force of the Cybersecurity Act which strengthened the role and competences of the agency by giving it a permanent mandate.

ENISA threat scenario
Figure 1 – Source ENISA: Growth trends and threat classification.

 

Among the major points found in the report: 

  • The motivation behind most cyber attacks is still financial. 
  • Ransomware remains widespread with costly consequences for many organizations. 
  • Still many cybersecurity incidents go unnoticed or take a long time to detect
  • With increased security automation, organizations will invest more in preparedness using Cyber ​​Threat Intelligence as their core capability. 
  • The number of phishing victims continues to grow as it exploits the human dimension which is the weakest link. 

Although there will be even greater demand for a secure and reliable cyberspace after the pandemic, there is still a long way to go before this goal can be achieved.

Changes recorded

According to the ENISA report, the changes recorded in cyberattacks in the period considered are due to two distinct facts: 

  • the sudden and unprecedented forces of transformation produced by the pandemic, such as the large-scale use of technology, the global dimension of the crisis, the smart working, distance learning and
  • increasing the abilities of threat actors.

Interdependencies

Surprisingly, the increased ability of hackers has come to amplify the impact of the pandemic in cyberspace: «advanced credential theft methods, highly targeted phishing attacks, advanced social engineering attacks, advanced malware obfuscation techniques, and broader penetration of mobile platforms are the main results of the adversaries in the reference period». 

The danger is that this greater sophistication can be combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning, a combination that would greatly increase the offensive capacity of cyberspace criminals. At the same time, the report notes, «cyber security is the factor that enables trust in emerging use cases for digital services and therefore has the opportunity to facilitate transformation». This element, however, must deal with what has emerged in further research on the subject of trust in technological measures on cyber security.