Estonia to raise capability for combating cyber crime

  • 2020-06-11
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Since the trend in technological crime continues to be a strongly growing one, the Estonian state must direct more resources towards combating cyber crime than has been the case to date, a memorandum prepared by the Ministry of the Interior says. 

"To sustainably handle cyber crimes, Estonia needs to direct more resources towards combating it than it has so far," Interior Minister Mart Helme, who presented the memorandum to the government on Thursday, said.

"Although the capability of the Police and Border Guard Board to handle cyber crimes has grown remarkably over the years, the ever faster developing field of information and communication technology means an ever greater probability for Estonian residents to fall victim to cyber crime," the minister said

Helme said that the separate unit at the Police and Border Guard Board for combating cyber crime -- the office for cyber crime at the Central Criminal Police -- needs additional personnel. Notably, the government is competing with the private sector when it comes to wages.

"Therefore, it's essential to increase the capability of the police in combating cyber crime in order to ensure the security of the various information technology systems as well as systems of the e-estate in Estonia," Helme said. 

According to the memorandum, estimates indicate that the trend in all sorts of technological crime is continuously and strongly a rising one. In Estonia, combating digital fraud and crime is especially important due to the broad availability of digital services such as e-payments and mobile-ID.

Previously, for instance, family doctor centers in Estonia have fallen victim to ransomware attacks which strongly affected the operation of the institutions.

Estimates suggest that year-on-year growth is due to be recorded in malware campaigns and attacks against computer systems and web pages, but also in all manner of fraud, narcotics trade and money laundering.

Cyber crime having become largely an e-service, among other things, makes it possible for almost every individual to commit acts of cyber crime on their own. Hence it's important to help dismantle the chains of supply within the environment and chart the patterns of various actors and organized groups.