Data Breaches Grow ... and Grow More Serious
As networks and computer systems grow more sophisticated, cyber-crooks are keeping pace and finding new ways to exploit weaknesses. The recently released 2012 "Data Breach Investigations Report", along with industry snapshots from Verizon Communications, offers insights into the current state of security. It found that corporate data theft reached 855 incidents and 174 million compromised records over the last year. "Mainline cyber-criminals are achieving 'economies of scale' by automating and streamlining highly repetitive—but quick and effective—attack methods," explains Wade Baker, principal author of the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report series. "Organizations achieve very high levels of security in numerous areas but neglect others." Many of those attacks targeted trade secrets, classified information and other intellectual property, Verizon found. The instigators relied on a number of methods—including hacking, physical security breaches and social engineering—to extract the data they desired. Here are some of the highlights (or lowlights) from the report.