Verizon outlines 9 causes of 94% of cyber attacks

An investigation by Verizon shows cyber-espionage is increasing, while POS attacks are falling


Verizon's 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report has highlighted that the majority of cyber crime incidents are caused by nine identified attack patterns.

Its findings show that 94 per cent of attacks can be attributed to errors such as sending an email to the wrong person, crimeware, insider or privilege misuse, physical theft or loss, web app attacks, Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS), cyber-espionage, point-of-sale intrusions and payment card skimmers.

This is the seventh annual report Verizon has released, analysing more than 1,300 confirmed data breaches and 63,000 reported security incidents.

After analysing ten years of data, Verizon discovered that different industries are open to different threats and each sector's problems can be attributed to just three main attack types.

The report used the example of the financial sector with 75 per cent of the total security incidents starting with web application attacks, DDoS and card skimming.

In contrast, 54 per cent of all attacks in the manufacturing industry stem from cyber-espionage and DDoS attacks.

Wade Baker, principal author of the Data Breach Investigations Report series, said: "By applying big data analytics to security risk management, we can begin to bend the curve and combat cybercrime more effectively and strategically.

"Organisations need to realise no one is immune from a data breach. Compounding this issue is the fact that it is taking longer to identify compromises within an organisation often weeks or months, while penetrating an organisation can take minutes or hours," Baker said.

The good news is that retail point-of-sale (POS) attacks are decreasing, although a larger dataset this year has shown cyber-espionage incidents have increased in comparison to last year's report.

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