Verizon Data Breach Study Finds Little Progress in Containing Malware

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-04-27
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Verizon Data Breach Study Finds Little Progress in Containing Malware
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    Verizon Data Breach Study Finds Little Progress in Containing Malware

    Some of Verizon's findings should be staggering enough to convince IT professionals to take steps to fully protect their networks and applications.
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    2 - Phishing Scams Work All Too Well
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    Phishing Scams Work All Too Well

    Phishing scams are becoming more effective. Verizon found that 23 percent of phishing email recipients are now opening the messages, and a whopping 11 percent of those unsuspecting victims are opening associated attachments. It takes just 82 seconds from the time a phishing campaign is launched to the moment it hooks its first victim.
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    3 - How Malware Is Infiltrating Your Networks
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    How Malware Is Infiltrating Your Networks

    Malware is another problem companies need to worry about. Verizon found that 20,000 organizations it studied intercepted 170 million malware events. To increase the chances of a successful malware infection, hackers continually made slight modifications to the malware code each time they used it to try to hide it from anti-malware scanners. In other words, if the cyber-criminals were persistent enough, they were able to get past the antivirus defenses to compromise computer systems with relative ease.
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    4 - Corporate Software Is Riddled With Vulnerabilities
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    Corporate Software Is Riddled With Vulnerabilities

    Verizon found that malicious hackers could target more than 7 million vulnerabilities, though most hackers focus solely on 10 vulnerabilities. Better yet, for the vast majority of the 7 million vulnerabilities, patches have been available for months. There's just one problem: most systems are not patched and Verizon even detected un-patched vulnerabilities dating back to 1999.
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    5 - It Takes Just Seconds to Infect and Penetrate Networks
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    It Takes Just Seconds to Infect and Penetrate Networks

    A breach can occur on a network in a flash, Verizon found. In fact, the company said that 38 percent of systems were compromised in mere "seconds." Once infected, the compromised system communicates with other machines on the network and before long, malware spreads and wreaks havoc.
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    6 - But It Can Take Days to Contain a Detected Threat
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    But It Can Take Days to Contain a Detected Threat

    While it can often take a long time for companies to find a threat, once they do, it's no guarantee they'll fix it quickly. In fact, 38 percent of respondents told Verizon that it takes days to contain a threat that works its way onto a company's network.
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    7 - Data Breach Costs Can Be Staggering
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    Data Breach Costs Can Be Staggering

    Losing customer records can be extremely costly, Verizon discovered. The company analyzed cyber-liability insurance claims and found that the average cost of a breach of 1,000 records can be between $52,000 and $87,000, or between $52 and $87 per record. If 10 million records are stolen, the total claim will range between $2.1 million and $52 million. But at this scale, at least the cost per breach drops down to 22 cents to 52 cents per record.
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    8 - Human Error or System Misuse Opens the Way for Cyber-Criminals
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    Human Error or System Misuse Opens the Way for Cyber-Criminals

    Human error continues to be one of the best ways for malicious hackers to gain access to a company's records. In fact, the top four patterns malicious hackers use to attack companies focus on human error and system misuse, including directly targeting employees.
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    9 - Point-of-Sale Devices Are Likely Targets
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    Point-of-Sale Devices Are Likely Targets

    According to Verizon, the most likely place for hackers to target is a point-of-sale device that processes and stores valuable credit card information. In addition, malicious hackers are capturing information through "cyber-espionage" and by utilizing Internet applications. Denial-of-service attacks and physical theft were among the least likely ways for hackers to obtain corporate data.
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    10 - Just 70 Organizations Reported Thousands of Incidents
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    Just 70 Organizations Reported Thousands of Incidents

    Verizon says that 70 organizations supplied it with data on breaches, which might not seem like much. However, from just those 70 organizations, Verizon discovered more than 2,100 data breaches and nearly 80,000 security incidents. That's an average of more than 1,000 security incidents per organization, or about three per day. Verizon independently analyzed more than 20,000 organizations, but just 70 of them supplied data on breaches to the company.
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    11 - Internet of Things Malware Threats 'Extremely Low'
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    Internet of Things Malware Threats 'Extremely Low'

    The Internet of things, or the term for previously disconnected devices that are now coming online, is one of the few small concerns from Verizon's study. In fact, the company found that the number of malware examples attacking Internet of things devices on the Web "was extremely low," adding that when malware was discovered, it was typically "resource-wasting, but low-impact, infections."
 

Too many corporate networks are wide open to break-ins by cyber-criminals, and IT professionals all too often only have themselves to blame for failing to protect their data assets adequately, according to new data from Verizon's 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report. The report, which Verizon releases each year after analyzing tens of thousands of security incidents, found that while cyber-criminals are using new techniques to electronically break into networks and steal information, a surprisingly large number of vulnerabilities exist solely because servers and networks haven't been properly patched. What's more, Verizon found that when the business side is in line with the IT side, a company's chances of being hacked and its information stolen fall dramatically. Security, in other words, is a team effort. But in far too many cases, those teams aren't working together very well at all, according to Verizon. This slide show will covers some of Verizon's findings about the state of corporate cyber-security in 2015. Some of the statistics should be staggering enough to convince IT professionals to take steps to make sure their networks and applications are fully patched and well-protected.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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