Cyber Security in Estonia 2020: What has changed?

cyber security 2020 estonia

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Within the past month, the Estonian Information System Authority (RIA) has released two comprehensive resources on the state of cyber security in Estonia and Estonia’s perspective on international challenges. The compendium “Cyber Security in Estonia 2020” explains the landscape, the responsibilities, and activities of different public sector organisations in Estonia, who all play a role in protecting our digital state and society. The second resource, RIA’s new yearbook, introduces the work of RIA and the events of 2019 in Estonian cyberspace in greater detail.

Furthermore, on May 26, RIA will be hosting a webinar “Cyber Security in Estonia 2020: What Has Changed,” where renowned cyber security experts will discuss how the changed environment will impact the plans for this year and the next.

Shaping international law 

One of the main themes that has emerged in recent years is the growing need to establish a common understanding of a rule-based cyberspace, rooted in the principles of international law. In the opening pages of the compendium, President Kersti Kaljulaid highlights that if we want to achieve a secure and stable cyber domain, then malicious cyber activities should have similar consequences as attacks carried out in the ‘analogue’ world. With this in mind, Estonia has made many attempts to help shape international law, some of which have been reflected in the work of Estonia’s presidency of the UN Security Council. 

Phishing, botnets and other threats

The yearbook and compendium also both touch upon the cyber threats and challenges from the perspective of civilian networks as well as national security. The year 2019 was largely dominated by phishing attacks. The compendium highlights that the number of incidents concerning phishing campaigns almost doubled compared to the year before. The threat is prominent for both civilians and in cases that can impact national security. The greatest number of incidents in 2019, were however reported on compromised systems added to botnets, which is likely to continue in 2020.

cyber security 2020
 Image retrieved from The 2020 Yearbook of The Information Security Authority, page 34.

Estonia’s view on the 5G challenge 

The emergence of Fifth Generation (5G) networks has captivated governments around the world. The revenues of the revolutionary technology are estimated at 225 billion euros in 2025. Despite the opportunities that the technology presents, most of the thought process and debate has been dominated not only by technical questions, but also by major security concerns. The compendium summarises the reasons behind these concerns as well as Estonia’s efforts to mitigate these risks both on a national level as well as within the European Union.

To learn more:

Photo: Cover illustration of the compendium  “Cyber Security in Estonia 2020”


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