Verizon’s 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report, obtained early by FedScoop, identified nine overall threat patterns by collating 10 years of data, and Verizon researchers have now mapped those specific threat patterns to specific industries.
One of the most problematic trends identified in the report was the significant increase in the number of external hacker threats now faced by organizations.
“The number of internal and partner actors has stayed steady, and external actors have been increasing year over year,” says Stephen Brannon, a principal with the Verizon Risk Team. He also mentioned that the speed of attackers far outpaces that of defenders, and the gap is widening. Also, the percentage of organizations that are able to detect incidents on their own without relying on third-party researchers and contractors is falling, FedScoop reports.
Contrary to popular media, however, point-of-sale attacks are actually trending downward, a continued move since 2011. Industries commonly hit by POS intrusions include restaurants, hospitality, grocery stores and other brick-and-mortar retailers.
Cyber-espionage is up – a four-fold increase from the 2013 report, but Brannon warns to take those numbers with a grain of salt: the 511 incidents in this year’s report are partially due to a larger dataset.
Human error continues to be among the most common causes of data loss and privacy breaches in the public sector, as the Verizon data shows “misdelivery” – sending paper documents or emails to the wrong recipient – is the most frequently seen error resulting in data disclosure, FedScoop reports.