Cyberattacks get smarter in 2013: Symantec

Networks Asia staff
15 Apr 2014
Daily News

After lurking in the shadows for the first 10 months of 2013, cybercriminals unleashed the most damaging series of cyberattacks in history.

Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), Volume 19, shows a significant shift in cybercriminal behavior, revealing the bad guys are plotting for months before pulling off huge heists – instead of executing quick hits with smaller rewards.

“There has been a decline in Singapore’s cyber security threat profile from the previous year and that is a clear indication that cybercriminals are certainly not resting on their laurels. Instead, they are bidding their time while upping their level of sophistication – waiting to strike until the reward is bigger and better,” said Tan Yuh Woei, Symantec’s country director for Singapore.

“With one mega breach possibly equivalent to 50 smaller attacks, Singapore’s findings revealed that cybercriminals have their eye on large companies with more than 2,500 employees, and in particular the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate industry, no doubt encouraged by the positive outlook projected for this sector in 2014,” Tan added.

In 2013, there was a 62% increase in the number of data breaches from the previous year, resulting in more than 552 million identities exposed – proving cybercrime remains a real and damaging threat to consumers and businesses alike.

“Security incidents, managed well, can actually enhance customer perceptions of a company; managed poorly, they can be devastating,” wrote Ed Ferrara, VP and principal analyst, Forrester Research. “If customers lose trust in a company because of the way the business handles personal data and privacy, they will easily take their business elsewhere.”

The size and scope of breaches is exploding, putting the trust and reputation of businesses at risk, and increasingly compromising consumers’ personal information – from credit card numbers and medical records to passwords and bank account details. Each of the eight top data breaches in 2013 resulted in the loss of tens of millions of data records. By comparison, 2012 only had a single data breach reach that threshold.

Related content