According to Verizon’s 2017 Investigations Report, most data breaches affect businesses with 1,000 or fewer employees. The percentage is staggering; 61% of all data breach victims are businesses with 1,000 or fewer employees. To get a better perspective of cyber crime in 2017, Verizon answered some key questions in their report:

Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report Findings

 

Who are the offenders of data breaches?

75% of data breaches are committed by outsiders, and 25% by internal parties. 73% of data breaches were discovered by third parties.

 

What methods are they using?

62% of data breaches involve hacking, and 51% involve malware. Of malware, 66% was installed via malicious email attachments.

 

Who are they attacking?

Top victims of data breaches:

  • 24% Financial service organizations
  • 15% Healthcare organizations
  • 12% Public sector organizations

 

Why are they attacking?

73% of data breaches are financially motivated, and 21% are related to espionage.

 

So, how can we defend ourselves against cyber attacks in 2017? Verizon offered the following tips to help organizations be proactive and protect themselves from threats:

 

Be alert

Adjust management systems and utilize log files to recognize data breach warning signs.

Educate your first line of defense

Teach employees how to identify data breach warning signs by scheduling routine cyber security awareness training modules.

Protect your data

Make sure required-only staff members have access to certain systems.

Run patches

Reduce the risk of cyber threats by deploying software patches whenever available.

Encryption

Verizon points out that, organizations can “make their data next to useless if it’s stolen,” by encrypting sensitive data.

Two-factor authentication

If credentials are lost or stolen, two-factor authentication limits the risk of enduring damage that can be done.

Physical security measures

Any sensitive material not stored online needs to be safeguarded.

 

Verizon states, “While attackers are using new tactics and tricks, their overall strategies remain relatively unchanged. Understanding them is critical to knowing how to defend your organization from cyber attacks.” Those organizations that go beyond basic cyber security measures are better armed than others to prevent data breaches. It’s best to start implementing cyber security measures now. Because, it’s never a case of “if” your organization will be breached, but rather, “when.”

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