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EU: 51 Severe Outages Reported Over 2011

In annual report, ENISA summarizes and analyzes incidents

This year, for the first time in the EU, all Member States have reported on past cyber security incidents to the EU's 'cyber security' agency ENISA and the European Commission. Eleven EU countries reported 51 severe outages of electronic communication networks or services. Today, ENISA publishes the first ever annual report on this, containing an analysis of incidents in 2011.

Under Article 13a of the EU's telecom reform directive (Directive 2009/140/EC), EU Member States are required to make summary reports on major outages once a year to ENISA and the European Commission. The first summary incident reports for 2011 were sent to ENISA in May 2012. In total, 11 countries reported outages. This number reflects the fact that many countries implemented national reporting schemes only towards the end of 2011. ENISA Experts Marnix Dekker and Christoffer Karsberg remark:

"This year, the Member States have more mature national incident reporting schemes. So next year we expect to publish an annual report with about 10 times more incidents."

In the annual report, ENISA summarizes and analyses the 51 reported incidents:

Most of the reported incidents affected mobile telephony or mobile internet (60%).

Incidents affecting mobile telephony or mobile internet affected most users (around 300.000 users), which is consistent with the high number of mobile users.

Incidents show that communication services (both fixed and mobile) strongly depend on the power supply.

Natural phenomena like storms, floods and heavy snow have a big impact on the power supply of providers. Natural phenomena cause long lasting incidents, around 45 hours on average.

The annual report also provides a summary of Article 13a and how it was implemented by ENISA and the EU Member States. The incidents will be discussed in more detail in the Article 13a working group which consists of all electronic communication regulators from EU countries, and technical experts from ENISA. In 2013, ENISA and the EC will collect the incident reports concerning outages that occurred in 2012. The next annual report will be published in the spring of 2013.

The Executive Director of ENISA, Professor Udo Helmbrecht comments: "We are now, for the first time, equipped with an overview of major cyber incidents in Europe. This is a decisive moment for the EU's efforts to improve understanding of the impact of cyber security incidents. But this still deals with only a small subset of cyber security incidents. This type of reporting should be extended to cover a wider range of incidents and more sectors."

For the full report with all data and analysis: Annual Incidents Report 2011

For interviews: Graeme Cooper, Head of Public Affairs, ENISA, Mobile: +30 6951 782 268 or Dr Marnix Dekker, resilience@enisa.europa.eu.

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