Sun. Oct 1st, 2023

Content Assessment: Cybersecurity in the Next Decade: ENISA Foresight 2030 Outlines 21 Critical Threat Challenges



A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the recent announcement by ENISA of its new booklet that summarizes the upcoming challenges and provides an assessment regarding cybersecurity-centric threats.

Editor’s Note: ENISA’s Foresight 2030 Threats report booklet provides invaluable intelligence for cybersecurity, information governance, and eDiscovery professionals to consider as they advise organizations on long-term information risk management programs. Building resilient systems today is essential to prevent the emerging threats of tomorrow. ENISA’s applied research and expertise offer technology leaders the unique opportunity to gain insights from the future landscape.

Industry Research Summary

Cybersecurity in the Next Decade: ENISA Foresight 2030 Outlines 21 Critical Threat Challenges

ComplexDiscovery Staff

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) has released a new report booklet titled “Foresight 2030 Threats” that provides an outlook on emerging cybersecurity threats expected to materialize by the year 2030. The report booklet builds on ENISA’s March 2023 publication “Foresight Cybersecurity Threats for 2030” which laid the groundwork for identifying future cyber risks.

ENISA is an agency of the European Union dedicated to achieving a high common level of cybersecurity across Europe. Since its establishment in 2004 and bolstered by the EU Cybersecurity Act, ENISA has contributed extensively to EU cyber policy, cybersecurity certification schemes, cooperation with EU member states and bodies, and preparation for emerging cyber challenges.

The new Foresight 2030 Threats report booklet summarizes 21 key threats that may become prevalent over the next decade based on current technological and societal trajectories. Each threat is analyzed in terms of potential threat actors, attack methods, and impacts. Hypothetical examples are also provided to illustrate how the threats could manifest.

The 21 threats highlighted in the report booklet include:

  1. Supply Chain Compromise of Software Dependencies – Integrated third-party components could lead to new vulnerabilities on supplier and customer sides.
  2. Advanced Disinformation Campaigns – Deepfakes can manipulate communities for political and monetary gain.
  3. Rise of Digital Surveillance Authoritarianism / Loss of Privacy – Exploitation of facial recognition and digital surveillance by criminal groups.
  4. Human Error and Exploited Legacy Systems Within Cyber-Physical Ecosystems – Lack of cyber-physical security knowledge due to fast IoT adoption and ongoing skill shortages.
  5. Targeted Attacks Enhanced by Smart Device Data – Data from internet-connected devices enables more tailored, sophisticated attacks.
  6. Lack of Analysis and Control of Space-Based Infrastructure and Objects – Potential vulnerabilities in new space technologies require investigation.
  7. Rise of Advanced Hybrid Threats – Physical or offline attacks are evolving and combining with cyberattacks.
  8. Skill Shortages – Lack of skills could see criminal groups target organizations with the largest gaps.
  9. Cross-Border ICT Service Providers as a Single Point of Failure – Disruption of critical cross-border ICT services during conflicts.
  10. Artificial Intelligence Abuse – AI manipulation for disinformation, bias exploitation, data collection.
  11. Increased Digital Currency-Enabled Cybercrime – Broader cryptocurrency adoption enables expansion of organized cybercrime.
  12. Exploitation of E-Health (and Genetic) Data – Abuse of health and genetic data for discrimination or law enforcement.
  13. Tampering with Deepfake Verification Software Supply Chain – Compromise of deepfake detection tools.
  14. Attacks Using Quantum Computing – Quantum computing could break current public key cryptography.
  15. Exploitation of Unpatched and Out-of-Date Systems – Difficulty managing complex, overwhelmed tech ecosystem enables exploits.
  16. AI Disrupting / Enhancing Cyber Attacks – AI escalation in offensive and defensive cyber capabilities.
  17. Malware Insertion to Disrupt Food Production Supply Chains – Automated food production presents attack vectors.
  18. Technological Incompatibility of Blockchain Technologies – Incompatible blockchain standards lead to exploits.
  19. Disruptions in Public Blockchains – Lack of blockchain security expertise creates vulnerabilities.
  20. Physical Impact of Natural / Environmental Disruptions on Critical Digital Infrastructure – Increased environmental disasters affect redundant critical infrastructure sites.
  21. Manipulation of Systems Necessary for Emergency Response – Attacks on emergency response systems and social media provoke panic.

The Foresight 2030 Threats report represents ENISA’s forward-looking research to get ahead of cybersecurity challenges before they escalate. By outlining possible future threats, ENISA aims to promote awareness and preparedness among public and private sector organizations. Proactive mitigation strategies can then be developed to reduce the likelihood and impact of the threats.

Reference:  European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) (2023, September 13). Foresight 2030 Threats. European Union Agency for Cybersecurity. Retrieved September 19, 2023, from

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