Malware, Web-Based Attacks Remain Top Cybersecurity Threats: EU Cybersecurity Agency


Malware and web-based attacks topped the list of European Union cybersecurity threats in 2017, the EU’s cybersecurity agency concluded in its sixth annual report.  Web application attacks, phishing, and spam attacks rounded out the top five threats, ENISA reported. The complexity and sophistication of cyberattacks continued to increase in 2017, and obfuscation attempts by attackers to hide their trails grew, the EU Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) reported.

ENISA found “unwavering evidence” that hackers are finding new methods to make money from cyberattacks, cybercriminals are becoming more organized and launching more sophisticated attacks, and there is an increasing danger of cyberwarfare. But authorities managed to shut down illegal online markets on the dark web, or unindexed portions of the internet not reached by search engines, and also uncover state-sponsored cyberattack campaigns, ENISA said.

EU companies and governments made record investments in cybersecurity during 2017, but they also faced a record number of cybersecurity incidents, including data breaches and information loss, according to the report. Increased media interest shed more light on cyberattacks and drew public attention, ENISA said.

The frequency of malware attacks has decreased, but remained the most prevalent cyberattack, ENISA said. The sophistication and diversity of malware attacks has increased, as was seen in the WannaCry and NotPetya global attacks that compromised company and government computer networks. 

Businesses must develop defense strategies based on cyberthreat intelligence, such as that disseminated by ENISA, the agency said in the report.

The report is designed to provide cybersecurity threat information insights for stakeholders and decision-makers in a wide variety of roles, ENISA said in the report.  ENISA for the first time included a cybersecurity threats web application to accompany the report. 

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