Skip to main content

Competence Centre on Foresight

We foster a strategic, future-oriented and anticipatory culture in the EU policymaking process.

  • Cybersecurity has evolved into an unconventional warfare on a multidimensional, multilayered, and asymmetric battlespace. For instance, as cyber-weapons and unmanned sensors and vehicles are becoming key military elements, critical equipment, including satellites are becoming particularly alluring targets.
  • The most targetted sectors by cyber attacks in a country are energy, public security and foreign affairs, as well as finance and transport. Attacks on these sectors could severely affect energy supply, compromise police work and cause loss or theft of classified information.
  • Space-based systems can be critically vulnerable to cyberattacks. Satellite and space-based infrastructures are key elements of our communication and observation capabilities. Skilled adversaries could inflict damages ranging from data loss or corruption to permanent loss of the satellite's capabilities, consequently impacting all services that depended on it. As space-based elements are also cyber-physical systems, cyberattackers could also cause direct impact on the physical world, for example by using them as kinetic weapons to target other space infrastructures.
  • While digitalizing and interlinking the once isolated energy system with other critical infrastructure systems can aid increase efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and associated costs, it also augments the risk of cyberattacks, in terms of both their likelihood and potential impact.
  • The exponential growth in the number of interconnected devices is expected to continue in the years to come. Some estimations predict that in the next 10 years the number of IoT devices world-wide will reach over 100 billion. As a result of this, the cybersecurity risk will also grow due to the considerable enlargement of the global attack surface and our increased dependence on these technologies.
    | Related Megatrends: Accelerating technological change and hyperconnectivityGeopower
  • Cybersecurity is not only a concern in interconnected systems. It is also a crucial aspect in any service or product that includes a digital dimension. Any input that is subject to be processed by a digital component is a potential entry point for cyberattacks. Examples of this can be found in the adversarial machine learning attacks against autonomous vehicles, through the manipulation of road signs, or cyberattacks targeting gene sequencing systems via the malicious manipulation of physical strands of DNA.
    | Related Megatrends: TechnologyGeopowerHealth
  • There will be 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs unfilled around the world in 2021, due to the lack of skilled people in the field. India alone, will need up to 1 million cybersecurity professionals by 2020.
     | Related Megatrends: TechnologyGeopowerWorkEducation
  • The advent of 5G technologies will enable new data-driven services through the interconnectivity of billions of IoT devices. In this context, coordinated efforts among EU countries are crucial to cope with new cybersecurity challenges based on current and future EU legislation on 5G cybersecurity. | Related Megatrends: Technology

More on this Megatrend