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Cyber security in Finland - statistics & facts

The importance of cyber security and data protection is continuously growing in the digitalized world. While the global cyber domain brings individuals and businesses closer together, vulnerability to cyber threats is also increasing. 2020 saw a rise in both the likelihood and impact of cyber-attacks, as cyber criminals have attempted to take advantage of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. In Finland, the pandemic and increased remote work, 5G, malware, and in particular the major data breach at psychotherapy center Vastaamo sparked public discussion about information security concerns. Compared to the previous year, there was a notable increase in information security violations and threat notifications, which totaled roughly 12,000 in 2020.

Types of cyber attacks

Although 2020 was a turbulent year in the context of cyber security, the number of significant information security violations and threats continued to decline in Finland. Five major information security violations were reported by telecommunications operators during that year. The majority of information security violations and threat cases in Finland concerned online scams and phishing, which increased particularly in the first half of 2020. Among the main incidents reported were also malware infections, which amounted to nearly 47,000 during the last quarter of 2020. Unspecified scanning malware made up the largest share of detected malicious software, which increased as a result of growth in remote work. Malware attacking smart devices connected to the internet (IoT), mostly Qsnatch and Mirai, accounted for over 10 percent of observed incidents during Q4 2020.

Attack trends and preparedness for risks in Finnish companies

Cybercrime poses a significant threat to companies, which are increasingly targeted by criminals. Online threats can take various forms, such as data breaches, information leaks, phishing, malware, or malicious spam emails that are used to mislead employees and customers. Almost two thirds of companies in Finland considered phishing and malware attacks as the largest cyber security threat for their business in a 2019 survey. Other major online threats for Finnish companies included information leaks, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, and infiltration of internal systems. User negligence and insufficient information about threats were named as the main issues hindering the effective implementation of cyber security by Finnish companies. Furthermore, 80 percent of large companies stated that the decentralized working model has increased information and cyber security risks in 2020.

Awareness and prevention of cyber crime

In general, a better awareness of online threats related can help in preventing cybercrime. In 2019, around half of surveyed Finns said that they are fairly well informed about the risks of cybercrime. Although 91 percent of respondents in the same survey agreed with the statement that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime was increasing, the majority of Finns were confident about being able to protect themselves sufficiently against cybercrime. The most common measure among Finns to improve their online security was not to open emails from unknown senders. As of 2019, 53 percent had installed anti-virus software, and the majority also uses cyber security application or software in their smartphone.


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