Data loss decreases, but breaches higher than ever in US, says Verizon

Staff writer
telecomasia.net
Data loss through cyber attacks decreased sharply in 2010, but the total number of breaches was higher than ever, according to the 2011 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.
 
These findings continue to demonstrate that businesses and consumers must remain vigilant in implementing and maintaining security practices.
 
The number of compromised records involved in data breaches investigated by Verizon and the U.S. Secret Service dropped from 144 million in 2009 to only 4 million in 2010, representing the lowest volume of data loss since the report’s launch in 2008. 
 
Yet this year’s report covers approximately 760 data breaches, the largest caseload to date. According to the report, the seeming contradiction between the low data loss and the high number of breaches likely stems from a significant decline in large-scale breaches, caused by a change in tactics by cybercriminals. 
 
They are engaging in small, opportunistic attacks rather than large-scale, difficult attacks and are using relatively unsophisticated methods to successfully penetrate organizations. For example, only 3 percent of breaches were considered unavoidable without extremely difficult or expensive corrective action.
 
The report also found that outsiders are responsible for 92 percent of breaches, a significant increase from the 2010 findings. Hacking (50 percent) and malware (49 percent) were the most prominent types of attack, with many of those attacks involving weak or stolen credentials and passwords.
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