It’s not a record to celebrate—in 2016, the number of tracked U.S. data breaches hit an all-time record high of 1,093, which is a noteworthy increase of 40 percent over the near record high of 780 reported in 2015.
While some of the increase may be driven by previous underreporting, it’s an alarming trend regardless. Now, as more states are making breaches public by posting them on their websites, identifying trends becomes easier. The breaches reported in 2016 were categorized into the following sectors by the Identity Theft Resource Center:
- Business, 45.2 percent
- Healthcare/medical, 34.5 percent
- Education, 9.0 percent
- Government/military, 6.6 percent
- Banking/credit /financial sector, 4.8 percent
Don’t see your industry listed? That doesn’t mean you can relax. After all, one thing hackers are particularly adept at exploiting is any gap in your cybersecurity plan. So, with the New Year comes a new opportunity for all of us to evaluate and reinforce our defenses. Even if you’re not the one responsible for IT safety, it’s always good to understand the issues and ask questions of those charged with this vital task. To help, here’s a list of some of the top methods used and opportunities exploited last year by cybercriminals (along with links to previous blogs for more background and ideas for protection):
- Hacking/phishing/skimming, which accounted for 55.5 percent of all breaches, making it the leading cause of cyber incidence for the eighth year in a row.
- Cyber extortion
- Mobile malware
- Vulnerable operational systems and software (Not every hacker is after data or dollars; some seek to interrupt or shut down operations)
- Business email compromise
- Inadequate technology certification
- Absence of a comprehensive cyber incidence response plan
This list is just a start, and there will surely be some new tactics from cybercriminals in the year ahead, but as the saying goes, the best defense is a good offense. If you need any encouragement, have questions, or would appreciate a review of your cybersecurity policies and protection, just contact Carol Scully at 317-805.7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org today!