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Cyber Criminals are are Increasing Social and Hacking Attacks

What attack vectors are the most popular among hacking communities right now? Who is conducting them? And, most importantly, in what areas should companies be beefing up their cybersecurity training? A recent report has some answers.

For the past thirteen years, Verizon has published its annual Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), which has probed in-depth the root causes and extent of the damage of enterprise data breaches across some of the world’s biggest companies. This year, their investigations team reviewed a record of 157,525 incidents across 16 verticals, of which 3,950 were confirmed data breaches. Their review covered “the most common attacks, actors, and actions,” which were then grouped by regional segments and other factors.

The results showed a trend away from malware attacks and a spike in social engineering and “hacking” based attacks, especially phishing. Here are key takeaways from the Verizon 2020 DBIR:

  • Attackers have become increasingly efficient and lean more towards social and hacking attacks such as phishing and credential theft. In fact, 45 percent of breaches were hacking attempts, 22 percent of beaches involved casual error, and another 22 percent were socially engineered.
  • 67 percent of breaches were caused by credential theft, errors and social attacks.
  • 22 percent of breaches were phishing attempts, and 37 percent involved stolen credentials.
  • 70 percent of breaches were conducted by actors outside of the organizations, and 55 percent of the attacks were by organized criminal groups.  It makes sense then, that 86 percent of breaches were financially motivated.
  • Malware attacks decreased to only 17 percent of breaches, and of the malware attacks, 27 percent involved ransomware.
  • Only 6.5 percent of breaches were Trojan attacks (a malware attack in which the hacker drops a Trojan on a system and then uses it to launch other attacks or to expand a current one), reduced from approx. 50 percent in 2016.
  • 72 percent of breaches involved large business victims, while 28 percent involved small business victims.
  • Cloud-based data was a prime target, as web application attacks double to 43 percent since 2019.
  • 58 percent of victims had personal data compromised.
  • But luckily, 81 percent of breaches were contained within 24 hours.

*From our partners at Ninjio