The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom) and the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo) say that companies in Finland are increasingly the target of cyber-attacks.
The number of notifications regarding data security deviations received by Traficom's Cyber Security Center has increased year by year. Part of the growth has been influenced by the fact that interest and awareness of cyber security has grown, but behind the growth there are also cyber influence companies targeting Finland, a new NATO-member.
The threat level has become permanent
'Every day, Finland faces many levels of cyberthreats, from denial-of-service attacks to different levels of cybercriminal data breaches and attempts to spread extortion malware. Wide-ranging cooperation is essential. The increase in the threat level has now become permanent. We are actively taking countermeasures in good cooperation with other authorities, companies, and especially operators critical to security of supply, in order to avoid cyberattacks', says Traficom CEO Kirsi Karlamaa.
Less human intelligence drives cyber-espionage
'When operating online, state actors have more experienced actors, resources and tools than basic criminals,' says Antti Pelttari, head of the National Security Police. Pelttari said that Russia is increasingly channelling its intelligence gathering efforts into the virtual realm. Russian cyber-espionage targeting Finland exceeded previous levels by the second half of 2022. Russia is seeking to use cyber-espionage to make up for the shortfall in human intelligence, according to the security police. The falling number of intelligence officers and restrictions on travel across the Russian border have significantly undermined operating conditions for Russian human intelligence in Finland. Operations under diplomatic cover have been the main instrument of Russian intelligence abroad.
Firms including Wärtsilä, Uponor and the Finnish News Agency STT have come under attack, as have government agencies, including some related to critical infrastructure. Despite the increase in the number of cases, a cyber attack that paralyzes society is considered to be unlikely, Finnish authorities said.