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ENISA has published its Annual Incidents report, which gives an aggregated analysis of the incidents causing severe communications outages in 2014. Incidents are reported on an annual basis, by the Telecom Regulators under Article 13a of the Framework Directive (2009/140/EC) to the Agency and the European Commission. The report provides an overview of which services and network assets were impacted and the root causes of the incidents.

In 2014, 137 major incidents were reported, from 24 EU countries and one EFTA member. Four countries reported no significant incidents. Most incidents reported involved fixed telephony. The most frequent causes for incidents were technical failures, affecting mainly switches and routers.

The reports key findings include:

  • Fixed telephony was the most affected by disruption; accounting for nearly half of all reported incidents (47 percent). This is a change compared to previous reporting years, when mobile Internet and telephony were the most affected by incidents. However, incidents in mobile Internet and telephony affect most users, with such incidents averaging 1.7 and 1.2 million affected users respectively per incident.
  • System or technical failures cause most outages, with these accounting for 65 percent of all reported incidents. Software bugs and hardware failures were the most common causes affecting switches and routers. Additionally human error also ranks high.
  • Faulty software changes and updates have most impact in terms of user-hours lost (user connections and duration).

ENISA’s Executive Director Udo Helmbrecht commented: “All parts of society rely on public electronic communications networks and services. Being transparent and discussing the causes of incidents, is essential for risk management and improving the level of security. ENISA is dedicated to help increase resilience in the electronic communications sector and will continue to foster and support transparency on incident reporting, promoting a systematic approach towards improved security measures in the sector.”

Read the ENISA Annual Incidents report 2014

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