ENISA provides data related to major telecom security incidents in 2021

Pierluigi Paganini July 28, 2022

ENISA published a report that includes anonymised and aggregated information about major telecom security incidents in 2021.

ENISA published a report that provides anonymized and aggregated information about major telecom security incidents in 2021.

Every European telecom operator that suffers a security incident, notifies its national authorities which share a summary of these reports to ENISA at the start of every calendar year.

The reporting of security incidents has been part of the EU’s regulatory framework for telecoms
since the 2009 reform of the telecoms package.

This year the report includes data related to reports of 168 incidents submitted by national authorities from 26 EU Member States (MS) and 2 EFTA countries.

The incident had a significant impact on the victim, the total user hours lost (resulted by
multiplying for each incident the number of users by the number of hours) was 5,106 million user
hours. Experts noticed a huge increase compared to 841 million user hours lost in 2020. The reason for this is the impact of a notable EU-wide incident that was reported separately by three MS. ENISA has published technical guidelines on incident reporting under the EECC1, including on thresholds and calculating hours lost.

Below are the takeaways from incidents that took place in 2021:

  • 4,16% of reported incidents in 2021 refer to OTT communication services, for this reason the European Agency required further attention for security incidents related to OTT services.
  • This is the first time that incidents concerning confidentiality and authenticity were reported.
  • The number of incidents labeled as malicious actions passed from 4% in 2020 to 8% in 2021.
  • System failures continue to dominate in terms of impact but the downward trend continues. System failures accounted for 363 million user hours lost compared to 419 million user hours in 2020.
  • The number of Incidents caused by human errors is the same as in 2020.
  • Only 22% of incidents were reported as being related to third-party failures compared to 29%

Let me suggest reading the full report for additional information:


ENISA Telecom Security Incidents 2021

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – hacking, telecom security incidents)

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