The Frequency And Seriousness Of Security Breaches Increases In 2018

Looking back on the 2015 and 2016 hacking statistics

2 months have elapsed in 2018, and it is already clear that this will be a record-setting year when it comes to cases of data security breaches. Thinking back on the 2015 and 2016 hacking statistics, the high numbers of recorded security breaches in 2018 should not come as a surprise. It should also not surprise anybody how quickly cybersecurity attackers are changing their methods to affect more and more devices and computers. It appears the reach of hackers will continue to expand with time.

Looking back on the 2015 and 2016 hacking statistics 

Going by data collected in the last two years, there is a pattern of ever-increasing cyber security breaches. For example ITRC Data Breach Reports indicate that in 2015, there were personal records numbering over 177,866,236 were exposed through 780 security breaches. During the same year, every state in America was affected by hacks. Here is an analysis of the breached targets, categorized according to the type of organization: 
-there were 312 breaches targeting businesses (which made up 40 % of the all breaches).
-there were 276 breaches that were experienced in medical and healthcare organizations (making up 35.4% of total breaches).
-63 breaches occurred in government or military entities (making up 8.1% of the total breaches).
-58 breaches occurred in educational institutions (accounting for 7.4% of the total breaches).

There was a 38% increase in incidences of phishing-related security attacks by Hackers in 2016.This is according to the main findings from the Global State of Information Security Survey( 2017) prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers. It also became apparent that hackers were finding other targets besides networks and computer systems. Other popular hacking targets during 2016 included mobile devices, unsecured wireless medical devices and cloud-based computer information systems . After security breaches were witnessed on various fronts, companies, education and government entities, healthcare systems and individuals began to appreciate the seriousness of the cyber security attacks. In order to prevent and fight the attacks, people started to intensify the use of data security measures during the year as follows:
-52 per cent of businesses, organizations and individuals employed tools for detecting intrusions.
-51 percent actively checked and analyzed security data for their exposed systems.
-48 percent performed vulnerability evaluation.
-47 percent used tools to manage their security data and events.
-47 percent frequently performed security threat assessments of their information systems.
-45 percent signed up with a service that deals with threat intelligence.
-44 percent undertook data penetration testing.

The most famous data security breaches in 2017

Since the beginning of this year, several serious data security breaches have occurred, possibly affecting the payment card information(for example debit and credit cards) of millions of people, their medical cards or personal identification data(for example their Social Security numbers, addresses and names).Some high-profile system hacks in 2017 include:

Chipotle Payment System hack

From 24th March to 1st April, the Chipotles payment system was infected by malware that was programmed to gather customer payment card information. News reports indicated that practically all the customers who were served at the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant during this period were vulnerable.

Dallas emergency weather sirens hack

On 7th April 2017, hackers penetrated the emergency weather siren system of Dallas (Texas),setting off all of its 156 sirens. The attack, which affected the city’s 1.3 million residents, occurred at 11.45 pm (local time) and lasted for one and a half hours.

Gmail Phishing hack

Hackers gathered login information of over one million Gmail accounts using a phishing campaign. The attack entailed sending the targets a phishing email with an attachment that seemed to come from a close email contact. When the recipient tried to open the attachment, a phony and virtually identical Gmail login page popped up, prompting them to log into their Gmail account.

The IRS system hack

The IRS system has already been hacked two times this year. During the first data breach in February, 464,000 SSN (social security numbers) were stolen. Among these, not less than 100,000 were successfully used to access users’ online personal identification numbers ( PINs).In the second attack that was reported in April, the personal data of over 100,000 student taxpayers was stolen when an online tool that students use to apply for financial assistance was hacked.

The biggest and most serious hacks of 2017 thus far

Over the year, hackers have been ambitious, to put it mildly. The year has witnessed a notable increase in the magnitude of cyber attacks, with numerous successful cyberattacks being recorded across the world. The New York Times has reported that in early May, hackers unleashed a worldwide cyberattack on various organizations. Hackers, with the help of stolen malicious programs that were originally developed by the National Security Agency, brought down computer systems across the world. The Interior Ministry of Russia was taken offline, plus various health systems throughout the United Kingdom -making the affected health institutions to send patients away since they could not operate without computers. Generally, the computer systems of 74 countries were affected, with Russia, India, Taiwan and Ukraine bearing the brunt of the cyberattack.

During another cyberattack that had a global effect, thousands of computers running the Microsoft Windows platform were infected with the WannaCry ransomware worm. This malware took the users’ files hostage and encrypted them. The victim was then required to pay ransom via bitcoin in order for the files to be unencrypted (unlocked). The malware affected over 200,000 computers across 150 countries. Some of the biggest victims of the attack include the National Health Service (NHS) of Britain, Spanish telephone giant Telefonica and FedEx.

Take urgent measures to guard your business against cyber security breaches

Cyberattacks are a serious danger to your personal computers and devices, your place of work or your business. If you are hacked, or data that was assigned to you was probably accessed during a data security breach, you must act fast to familiarize yourself with your rights and obligations regarding notification of possible victims. You need to get help from skilled cyber security attorneys like the experts at Revision Legal.

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