Home Startups Balkans see rise in cyberattacks as more systems use biometrics, digital ID: report

Balkans see rise in cyberattacks as more systems use biometrics, digital ID: report

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THE Balkans is experiencing a surge in cyberattacks against public and private organizations just as the region embraces biometrics and digital identity, raising questions about the protection of biometric data, new research of the Balkan Investigative Journalism Network (BIRN).

The organization has documented 40 incidents that resulted in significant data breaches and compromised large amounts of data between 2020 and 2023, covering countries including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia . Attacks include ransomware, phishing, data hacking and other cyberattacks against the public sector, banks and individuals.

Cyber ​​intrusions have raised concerns about data privacy, particularly biometric data. The region is increasingly relying on biometrics and digital identity in online banking, online government services and border control. However, of the 40 cases listed, none appear to be linked to biometric data, although in many incidents it is unclear which data was breached or compromised. Potentially compromised data includes unique identification numbers.

Among the problems encountered in combating the onslaught of cybercrime are a lack of public awareness, inadequate cybersecurity policies and limited regional collaboration, the report concludes.

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