According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), the number of Mega Data Breaches went from 1 in 2012 to 8 in 2013; 552 Million Identities Exposed in 2013.
There is a significant shift in cyber criminal behavior, revealing the bad guys are plotting for months before pulling off huge heists instead of executing quick hits with smaller rewards.
The level of sophistication continues to grow among attackers with them being more patient waiting to strike until the reward is bigger and better. “One mega breach can be worth 50 smaller attacks,” said Sheldon Hand regional manager for Rest of Africa, Symantec.
In 2013, there was a 62 percent increase in the number of data breaches from the previous year, resulting in more than 552 million identities exposed- proving cybercrime remains a real and damaging threat to consumers and businesses alike.
The size and scope of breaches is exploding, putting the trust and reputation of businesses at risk, and increasingly compromising consumers’ personal information from credit card numbers and medical records to passwords and bank account details. Each of the eight top data breaches in 2013 resulted in the loss of tens of millions of data records. 2012 only had a single data breach reach that threshold.
Targeted attacks were up 91 percent and lasted an average of three times longer compared to 2012. Personal assistants and those working in public relations were the two most targeted professions – cybercriminals use them as a stepping stone toward higher- profile targets like celebrities or business executives.
“The potential for huge paydays means large scale attacks are here to stay. Companies of all sizes need to re-examine, rethink and possibly re-architect their security posture.”