In the 15th annual Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), Verizon’s DBIR team analyzed 23,896 security incidents, of which 5,212 were confirmed data breaches. The DBIR is created to help security practitioners find data-driven, real-world views on what commonly befalls companies with regard to cybercrime and increase awareness of what tactics attackers use. 

From well-publicized critical infrastructure attacks to massive supply chain breaches, the DBIR found five key trends related to the security incidents analyzed:

  1. There are four key paths leading to your estate: Credentials, Phishing, Exploiting vulnerabilities, and Botnets. All four are pervasive in all areas of the DBIR, and no organization is safe without a plan to handle each of them.
  2. This year ransomware has continued its upward trend with an almost 13% rise – an increase as big as the last five years combined. It’s important to remember that while ubiquitous and potentially devastating, ransomware by itself is, at its core, simply a model of monetizing an organization’s access. Blocking the four key paths mentioned above helps to block the common routes ransomware uses to invade your network.
  3. 2021 illustrated how one key supply chain incident could lead to wide-ranging consequences. Compromising the right partner is a force multiplier for threat actors. Unlike a financially motivated actor, nation-state threat actors may skip the breach altogether and opt to simply keep the access to leverage at a later time.
  4. Error continues to be a dominant trend and is heavily influenced by misconfigured cloud storage. While this is the second year in a row that we have seen a slight leveling out for this pattern, the fallibility of employees should not be discounted.
  5. The human element continues to drive breaches. This year, 82% of breaches involved the human element. Whether it is the Use of stolen credentials, Phishing, Misuse or simply an Error, people continue to play a very large role in incidents and breaches alike.

For the full report, please visit