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Annual telecoms downtime across the EU reaches almost one billion user hours

ENISA, The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, has published its 9th annual report on telecom security incidents, which provides an analysis of root causes and impacts of major incidents that happened in the course of 2019.

There was a total of 153 major telecom security incidents reported in 2019, which had a total impact of almost one billion user hours lost.

Key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • System failures dominate in terms of impact: this category makes up almost half (48 percent) of the total user hours lost. It is also the most frequent root cause of incidents. Both the frequency and overall impact of system failures have been trending down significantly over the past four years;
  • More than a quarter (26 percent) of total incidents have human errors as the root cause. Human errors increased by 50 percent compared to the previous year;
  • Almost a third (32 percent) of the incidents were also flagged as a third-party failure. This means that these incidents originate at third parties, typically utility companies, contractors, suppliers, etc. This number tripled compared to 2018 when it was 9 percent;
  • Looking inside the category of system failures, hardware failures are a major factor: almost a quarter of incidents (23 percent) were caused by hardware failures and they heavily impacted user hours amounting to 38 percent;
  • Power cuts continue to be an important factor: being either the primary or the secondary cause in over a fifth of the major incidents.

Read the report.

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