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When it comes to security, users are making strides when it comes to intrusion and detection, but they will have to step up their games because there is also a hike in sophistication in malware obfuscation, social engineering tactics, and advanced persistent threats, a new study found.

Although slightly down from the previous year, North America still leads in data breaches at 43 percent followed by the Asia Pacific region at 30 percent, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at 23 percent and Latin America at 4 percent, according to the 2018 Trustwave Global Security Report which reveals the top security threats, breaches by industry, and cybercrime trends from 2017.

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Trustwave based the report on the analysis of billions of logged security and compromise events worldwide, hundreds of hands-on data-beach investigations and internal research.

“… Cybercriminals and their attacks are becoming more methodical and organized,” said Steve Kelley, CMO at Trustwave. “As long as cybercrime remains profitable, we will continue to see threat actors quickly evolving and adapting methods to penetrate networks and steal data. Security is as much a ‘people’ issue as it is a technology issue.”

Cyber Security

The retail sector suffered the most breach incidences at 16.7 percent followed by the finance and insurance industry at 13.1 percent and hospitality at 11.9 percent.

Half of the incidents investigated involved corporate and internal networks (up from 43 percent in 2016) followed by e-commerce environments at 30 percent. Incidents impacting point-of-sale (POS) systems decreased by more than a third to 20 percent. This is reflective of increased attack sophistication and targeting of larger service providers and franchise head offices and less on smaller high-volume targets in previous years.

In corporate network environments, phishing and social engineering was the leading method of compromise at 55 percent followed by malicious insiders at 13 percent and remote access at 9 percent. This indicates the human factor remains the greatest hurdle for corporate cybersecurity teams. “CEO fraud”, a social engineering scam encouraging executives to authorize fraudulent money transactions continues to increase.

In addition, targeted web attacks are becoming prevalent and much more sophisticated.

Breach incidents show signs of careful preplanning by attacker probing for weak packages and tools to exploit. Cross-site scripting (XSS) was involved in 40 percent of attack attempts, followed by SQL Injection (SQLi) at 24 percent, Path Traversal at 7 percent, Local File Inclusion (LFI) at 4 percent, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) at 3 percent.

In another finding, the median time between intrusion and detection for externally detected compromises was 83 days in 2017, a stark increase from 65 days in 2016, according to the report. Median time between intrusion and detection for compromises discovered internally however, dropped to zero days in 2017 from 16 days in 2016, meaning businesses discovered the majority of breaches the same day they happened.

Click here to register for the report.

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