Last month, Verizon released its annual Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) with some interesting insights about the current state of cybersecurity. Among the key findings, Ransomware attacks are on the rise and financial institutions are the most likely targets.
The report focuses on figures and data gathered over the last year, in which 1,935 confirmed security breaches happened across several industries worldwide. Results show how trends are changing in the tech landscape, and how they have maintained even after the publishing date.
Just recently, a wide range of organizations was affected by a global ransomware attack that asked for Bitcoin compensation over the course of three days. If users failed to comply, the ransom amount doubled, and their files remained encrypted.
Which were the most common tactics used to breach security?
Out of the 1,935 confirmed security breaches analyzed by Verizon, 571 were successfully carried out via web app attacks, closely followed 289 instances of cyber espionage and 277 of privilege misuse.
However, the most significant figures are not always what they seem. There were only 47 crimeware attacks that resulted in data disclosure, but there were 6,925 reported incidents of the same nature during the studied period.
Under the crimeware classification, ransomware was the most common type of malware spread to unknowing users’ terminals in search for money. In spite of not being as effective last year, this year things could be different in light of recent events.
Continuing with the harmful trends, phishing remained as one of the top MO for hackers in 2016. DDoS attacks, however, saw a noticeable rise with 11,246 incidents reported. But, only five of them achieved their objective.
Which industries were most affected by security breaches?
Not surprisingly, finance was the most targeted field out of more than 20 industries considered for the report. Verizon found banks and financial institutions were on the receiving end of 471 security breaches last year.
Nonetheless, it was the education sector that stood as the odd one out, with more incidents than most years and a particular motive behind the attacks: money and fun.
The perpetrators breached the security of education institutions in search for valuable data, including credentials and specialized research. Cyberespionage was the main attack vector used by the criminals, which includes techniques like phishing, spyware or keylogger use, and backdoor hacking.
Healthcare, the public sector, and the accommodation services industry were also among those that were hit the hardest.