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Threat level in cyber environment has risen – activity towards Finland has increased

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The number of cyberattacks has increased globally this year. After a quieter period in the spring, the number of attacks is on the rise in Finland. Based on reports received by the National Cyber Security Centre Finland (NCSC-FI) at Traficom, attacks against Finnish organisations increasingly often employ malware, phishing and denial-of-service attacks.

Nature of incidents contributes to rise in threat level

Targeted phishing and break-in attempts more frequent

It is often difficult to ascertain the identity of attackers and the motivation for attacks. Along with the increase in the total number of ordinary cyberattacks, the use of targeted phishing messages and break-in attempts, for example, has also become more common. Policies adopted by states, changes in the security environment and decisions made by companies and organisations are some of the factors that may motivate criminals to target Finnish organisations. Based on the changes observed, the NCSC-FI at Traficom has assessed that the threat level in cyber security has risen in Finland.

According to Traficom’s Director-General Kirsi Karlamaa, the number of cyberattacks in Finland has increased year by year. The growth has continued this year too, but we have also seen new operating methods.

“This trend is clearly evident in the cyber security incidents reported to us. Based on the reports, we have supported organisations in solving the incidents and analysed the cases. We have also compared the situation in Finland with data received from our international partner network. Based on these analyses, we can conclude that the threat level has risen.”

“Our analysis shows that attacks against Finnish organisations seem to be more tailored than before. These days, attacks are more likely directed at a specific organisation instead of the mass campaigns, or shots in the dark, that we have seen before,” Kirsi Karlamaa says.

More and more organisations hit by ransomware

During the summer, the technology company Wärtsilä and the Finnish News Agency STT, among others, have reported being victims of ransomware attacks. This type of malware has become increasingly common in attacks against organisations in Finland. Karlamaa urges organisations to invest more in preparing for cyber threats.

“We would like to remind organisations that they should pay attention to preparedness, exercises and communication in their daily operations and risk management activities. For instance, STT has set a good example by openly communicating about the cyberattack they faced,” Kirsi Karlamaa says.

Ensuring adequate level of preparedness and protection in organisations

Cyber security is part of preparedness and risk management in organisations. The NCSC-FI published this summer instructions that help companies and organisations improve their cyber security and reduce the risk of being attacked. The instructions also explain what organisations should do if they become victims of ransomware. All organisations should go through the instructions and ensure a sufficient level of protection and preparedness.

NCSC-FI’s information security instructions and guidelines for private individuals, companies and security professionals (External link)

Enquiries: Traficom media hotline, tel. +358 29 534 5648