2018 Cyber Crime: A Warning for 2019

Dozens of successful, multi-billion-dollar businesses found themselves victims of major data breaches in 2018. In just the first three quarters of 2018, hackers perpetrated some 3,676 cyber breaches.5 And they compromised more data – 4.5 billion records – in the first half of 2018 than all of 2017.4 Though some sources report that the number of breach attempts actually declined from the previous year, the amount of data accessed obviously increased.

However, the slight decline in actual incidents isn’t saying much. So far, 2017 holds the record for highest number of total data breaches. But the tally hasn’t come in yet for Q4 2018. Just in October and November, two national airlines suffered multi-million-record breaches, and a major computer company, a global bank, and thousands of Italian magistrates and security officials fell victim to cyber thugs.

Here are steps to help prevent your enterprise from becoming part of 2019’s cyber attack statistics.

Cyber Resiliency Strategies

  1. Assess Your Risks
    You cannot prepare for a threat if you do not know that it exists. You should understand the nature of risks and threats to better develop appropriate strategies to thwart your enemy…and buttress your weaknesses.
  2. Plan for the Worst
    Prevention is always the best road to security. But as dark players refine their techniques and escalate their efforts, you should always consider the chance they may break through your defenses. Develop and frequently update cyber breach incident response plans to afford your organization the most rapid and efficient reactions.
  3. Educate Employees
    The value of educating employees regarding cyber security best practices cannot be overstated, particularly when you find that negligent insiders contribute to more than 20% of cyber incidents; and more than 60% of breaches are accomplished through email via phishing. Establish documented protocols and regularly conduct refresher meetings and workshops to keep every staff member and your efforts on par with current cyber security-related issues.
  1. Double-up on Authentication
    Double your security with two different authentication requirements for confidential and sensitive data and locations. If one is compromised, you have the other as a buffer. And it’s less likely that a cyber criminal will take the time and effort to break through two doors. And if he or she does, the first break-in may notify you in time to halt the attack before he or she breaches the second.
  2. Maintain Current Software and Systems
    Slipping in through an ‘unpatched’ hole in software is a hacker favorite. Update software immediately, as soon as the updates are available - even waiting a week to patch known vulnerabilities can make you a target. Additionally, many old manufacturing systems some companies are still using were not built to withstand the sophisticated breach techniques used today.
  3. Know Your Third-Parties’ Security
    You’re only as strong as your weakest link. If one of your supply chain partners or third-parties are weak on cyber security…then you may be too. Ask for a detailed overview of their security protocols and conduct regular assessments to ensure they are maintaining all of your standards.
  4. Put Your Forces to the Test
    Test your cyber security tools and protocols to find weaknesses before a malicious actor does.

A Taste of 2018 Stats and Facts

  • "59% of companies say they have experienced a data breach caused by one of their vendors or third parties"2
  • Only 13% of the 3,676 breaches in 2018 were detected internally5
  • Insiders perpetrated 36% of breaches5
  • Hackers who use stolen data constitute 90% of login attempts on retail websites1
  • 4.4 million patient records were compromised during 117 data breaches in Q3 of 20186
  • Third-parties accounted for 1.34 million patient record breaches6
  • Compared to 2017's third quarter, email fraud rose 80% in Q3 of 2018
  • "Over 137 million phishing attempts were detected during Q3 2018"2

    "The average ransomware attack is 10 times more costly to a business than the ransom itself"

    No business should consider themselves impenetrable. And no corners should be cut on network and data security. Cyber criminals ravenously refine their techniques to stay ahead of security methods. Organizations must not only employ current, formidable cyber security tools and protocols, they must keep their business continuity and incident response plans up-to-date and relevant to current cyber trends to mitigate loss and damage should they fall to infiltration.  

 For more info on this topic, check out our free whitepaper:

Free Whitepaper - Cyber Security: Beyond the Burden and Into Revenue

  1. If you shopped at these 16 stores in the last year, your data may have been stolen, Business Insider, 2018
    https://www.businessinsider.com/data-breaches-2018-4
  2. Cybersecurity: The latest news and statistics, techradar, 2018
    https://www.techradar.com/news/cybersecurity-the-latest-news-and-statistics
  3. Three Key Trends From Our Latest Cybersecurity Research, proofpoint, 2018
    https://www.proofpoint.com/us/corporate-blog/post/three-key-trends-our-latest-cybersecurity-research
  4. 945 data breaches led to compromise of 4.5 billion data records in first half of 2018, Help Net Security, 2018
    https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2018/10/09/data-breaches-2018/
  5. 2018 on Track to Be One of the Worst Ever for Data Breaches, InformationWeek IT Network, Dark Reading, 2018
    https://www.darkreading.com/vulnerabilities---threats/2018-on-track-to-be-one-of-the-worst-ever-for-data-breaches/d/d-id/1333252
  6. 4 Million Records Exposed in 117 Health Data Breaches in Q3 2018, Health IT Security
    https://healthitsecurity.com/news/4.4m-records-exposed-in-117-health-data-breaches-in-q3-2018

Topics: Cyber Security| Technology

Angie Longacre

Written by Angie Longacre

As a writer for Assurance Software, Angie devotes her craft to promoting business continuity and disaster recovery awareness, and trumpeting Assurance Software’s invaluable benefits for both. When she’s not commanding the keyboard, you can find her outside for a run, searching for her next antique treasure, or lost in a good book.

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