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ENISA issues electronic communication major incidents report

ENISA, the EU cyber security agency, has published a new report providing an overview of the major electronic communication outage incidents in the EU in 2012.

‘Annual Incident Reports 2012’ provides an aggregated analysis of the 79 reported incidents of severe outages of electronic communication networks, or services.

Key conclusions include:

  • 18 countries reported 79 significant electronic communication outage incidents; nine countries reported no significant incidents.
  • Mobile telephony and mobile Internet were the most impacted services.
  • Incidents caused by service overload followed by power failures had the biggest impact in terms of number of users affected.
  • For most incident reports the root cause was ‘System failures’: 75 percent of major outages were caused by this.
  • Hardware failures were the most common cause of systems failures, followed by software bugs.
  • Switches were the most frequent point of failure (e.g. routers and local exchange points) followed by mobile network home location registers.
  • Incidents caused by natural phenomena (mainly storms and heavy snowfall) lasted the longest: on average around 36 hours.

The executive director of ENISA Professor Udo Helmbrecht commented: “The EU collaboration behind this report is key to improving the security and resilience of electronic communications networks in the EU, as well as for security in other critical sectors. Reporting major incidents helps us understand what went wrong, why, and how to prevent similar incidents from happening again. ENISA, with all National Reporting Authorities across the EU, will continue delivering practical lessons learned, that could significantly improve the security of our telecommunication infrastructure.”

The next annual (2013) report will be published in spring 2014.

Read the Annual Incidents Report 2012 (PDF).

•Date: 22nd August 2013 • Europe/UK •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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