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Study: 95% of All Cyber Attacks are Financially Motivated

Businesses need to take security into account and make it a priority. In fact, security is so important that Verizon has compiled a report of the various types of attacks and data breaches that occurred in the past year. This is Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, or DBIR, and it offers insights into how you can protect your business and secure your assets.

The DBIR has a method of outlining data breach types into nine separate categories. In particular, your business should focus on four of them. We’ll provide you with a basic outline of what the threat entails, as well as how your organization can protect itself from them.

Crimeware
The DBIR reports that crimeware is one of the most common trends in the business environment, citing that 39 percent of all attacks in 2015 involved ransomware. The DBIR’s definition of “crimeware” is quite large, and is used to refer to “any use of malware that doesn’t fall into a more specific pattern.” This lack of predictability makes crimeware rather dangerous, and only serves to show business owners just how many different types of threats exist that fall into this category.

The DBIR recommends that all workstations and servers be patched and maintained at all times, and that organizations have backup and disaster recovery solutions put into place to prepare for the worst. Additionally, it’s recommended that you monitor your systems for any changes to system configurations.

Web Application Attacks
E-commerce platforms are some of the most common targets, and it’s simple to understand why. In the DBIR, 95 percent of all web application attacks had some sort of financial motivation. These attacks are caused by successful phishing attempts to steal credentials and infiltrate networks. Additionally, content management system data breaches have become quite common, with some aiming to infiltrate and repurpose sites as phishing centers.

The DBIR suggests using two-factor authentication, and to promptly update and patch software as needed.

Cyber Espionage
Some criminals will primarily target intellectual property. These cyber-espionage tactics will stick to your typical methods of network breaches and utilize sophisticated means to meet their goals if simple tactics don’t work. Therefore, many of these attempts to steal sensitive data can be undermined by basic protection, like firewalls and antivirus, but these solutions shouldn’t be counted on to keep out more advanced threats.

Additionally, you need to take advantage of advanced security solutions, like remote monitoring and management, to ensure that your infrastructure’s configurations aren’t being tampered with, and implement a mobile device management solution to protect your organization’s mobile data infrastructure.

Miscellaneous Errors
This category consists mostly of mistakes of all kinds that leads to compromised security. Verizon reports that around 40 percent of miscellaneous errors are caused by server issues, and about 26 percent are caused by simple employee mistakes, like sending a message filled with sensitive data to the wrong person.

The DBIR suggests that business owners or technology professionals strengthen control over how sensitive data is distributed. Verizon suggests the thorough and proper disposal of any unneeded or irrelevant hardware, and we’d like to mention how employee education as a preventative measure. By ensuring that your team is informed of industry best practices and data management techniques, you’ll drastically cut down user errors.

The takeaway: Basically, the majority of security discrepancies were due to, with varying degrees, human error. This is natural, as hackers actively look to exploit the weaknesses of the human mind. Therefore, if the people that make your business tick are the weakest link in the chain of operations.

What can you do to safeguard your data? For starters, stay up-to-date on the various trends in security breaches, and always keep your systems prepared by installing patches and security updates. To learn more about cyber security and preventative technology solutions, reach out to NTConnections at (703) 288-9767.