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Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Are Your Biggest Security Nightmare

Another report today is indicating the steady growth of ransomware attacks, as well as the increasing danger of cyberespionage. According to Verizon, organizations in manufacturing, the public sector and education are frequent targets of cyberespionage.

At least 90% of 289 breaches stemming from espionage were associated with state-affiliated groups, followed by competitors and ex-employees. Expectedly, phishing was the most common attack vector employed to target victims for spying reasons.

Related: In 2017, Most Users Remain Completely Unaware of Ransomware

The report also clarifies the difference between a breach and an incident. We are dealing with an incident when the integrity, confidentiality or availability of an information asset is compromised. A breach, however, is an incident followed by confirmed information exposure of data to an unauthorized party.

The 2017 Edition of Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report

The report is an edition of Verizon’s annual tradition to release statistics based on a vast analysis. This year’s analysis is based on more than 42,000 security incidents and 1,935 confirmed data breaches. The data is gathered from 84 countries. The research has been carried out with the help of 65 partners, making it quite an authoritative study on breaches and cyberespionage.

Phishing accounted for over a fifth of security incidents, or 21 percent, which is a considerable growth from last year (8%). As to why there is an increase in phishing, Verizon believes that more attackers have adopted the technique due to its high success rates. One in fourteen of phishing attacks were successful meaning that the targeted victim clicked on the malicious link or opened the attachment in the phishing email.

Related: How to Detect and Remove Phishing (Fake) Web Pages

Phishing and Macro-Based Malware Continue to Be Favored

In addition, macro-based malware continues to be a threat, as opposed to spoofing which saw less attention as a technique.

Organized criminal groups were responsible for 51% of breaches and state-affiliated groups – for 18%. Not surprisingly, companies providing financial services were mostly targeted, where financial gain and espionage were the top causes of the attacks.

Ransomware continued to be an increasingly dangerous threat, with some industries going through more attacks. More particularly, the healthcare sector is cybercriminals’ favorite with 72% of all malware incidents in this sector due to ransomware.

Weak password security continues to be a top reason for many incidents. Four in five breaches related to hacking were successful due to a stolen, weak, or easy-to-guess password.

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer and content manager who has been with SensorsTechForum since the project started. A professional with 10+ years of experience in creating engaging content. Focused on user privacy and malware development, she strongly believes in a world where cybersecurity plays a central role. If common sense makes no sense, she will be there to take notes. Those notes may later turn into articles! Follow Milena @Milenyim

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