Critical Read

Verizon tracks trends in data breaches

report cover

What: Verizon's 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report released April 23

Why: The annual report shows why cybersecurity is top of mind among policymakers, network managers, and intelligence professionals. The report analyzes more than 47,000 security incidents, including 621 confirmed data breaches which yielded more than 44 million compromised records. The report indicates that the majority of confirmed data breaches (as opposed to overall incidents) are coming from outside of targeted networks, not from inside jobs or internal security lapses.

The victims: Retailers are typically targeted for credit card information. Manufacturers are being hacked for their intellectual property. Overall, organized crime entities lead others in perpetrating financially motivated breaches. State affiliated actors appear more interested in espionage. The "hacktivist" threat is relatively minimal, with politically motivated activists responsible for an estimated 2 percent of breaches by external actors. Overall, the report found that about 78 percent of attacks required low or very low skills on the part of perpetrators. Fewer than 1 percent of breaches required advanced skills, according to the report.

Verbatim: "State-affiliated actors tied to China are the biggest mover in 2012. Their efforts to steal IP comprise about one-fifth of all breaches in this dataset."

Click here to access the full report.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is a staff writer covering Congress, the FCC and other key agencies. Connect with him on Twitter: @thisismaz.

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