A new report by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has revealed that over a fifth of EU businesses with ten or more employees and self-employed individuals in the business economy experienced incidents relating to information and communication technology (ICT) security in 2021. The report notes that the most common consequence of the reported ICT security incidents was the unavailability of ICT services caused by hardware or software failures. This accounted for 18.7% of all incidents. Far less common were incidents involving attacks from the outside, such as ransomware or denial of service attacks, which were responsible for 3.5% of all incidents.
Additionally, EU enterprises reported that their data was destroyed or corrupted due to two types of incidents, caused either by hardware or software failures or infection by malicious software or unauthorized intrusion. 3.9% of ICT security incidents involved the destruction or corruption of data due to hardware or software failures, while 2.1% of incidents involved malicious software or unauthorized intrusion. The least frequent consequence of ICT security incidents was disclosing confidential data. This was related to two different reasons, including intentional actions by own employees and unintentional acts by own employees.
According to the report, the highest shares of enterprises that reported ICT security incidents leading to unavailability of ICT services, destruction or corruption of data, or disclosure of confidential data were in Finland, with over two-fifths (43.8%) of businesses experiencing incidents. The Netherlands and Poland came second and third with 30.1% and 29.7%, respectively. Denmark and Czechia completed the top five, with 26.4% and 29.3% of businesses experiencing ICT security issues. Bulgaria, Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary, and Cyprus were the countries with the lowest shares of businesses reporting ICT security issues.
The report highlights the ongoing importance for businesses to prioritize and invest in solid cybersecurity measures to prevent and mitigate the potentially severe consequences of ICT security incidents.
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