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The amount of records breached last year dropped nearly 25 percent, and that is the good news, however, the bad news is bad guys are focusing more on ransomware and destructive attacks, new research found.

Over 2.9 billion records were reported breached, down from 4 billion disclosed in 2016, according to the 2018 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index.

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While the number of records breached is down, it is still a large number. The king of attacks, though, was ransomware. As the profit generating malware reigned supreme in attacks such as WannaCry, NotPetya, and Bad Rabbit.

Overall, ransomware incidents have cost organizations more than $8 billion in 2017 as cybercriminals launched debilitating attacks focused on locking critical data instead of compromising stored records. 

Cyber Security

Other key findings from the report include:
• A 424 percent jump in breaches related to misconfigured cloud infrastructure, largely due to human error
• For the second year in a row, the Financial Services industry suffered the most cyberattacks against it, accounting for 27 percent of attacks across all industries

“While breached records are a good indication of cybercriminal activity, it doesn’t tell the full story of 2017,” said Wendi Whitmore, Global Lead, IBM X-Force Incident Response and Intelligence Services (IRIS). “Last year, there was a clear focus by criminals to lock or delete data, not just steal it, through ransomware attacks. These attacks are not quantified by records breached, but have proven to be just as, if not more, costly to organizations than a traditional data breach. The ability to anticipate these attacks and be prepared will be critical as cybercriminals will continue to evolve their tactics to what proves most lucrative.”

Click here to register for the report.

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