New report finds 2013 worst year for data breaches yet

August 14, 2014 Arctic Wolf Networks

A recently released cybersecurity industry study has found that there were more than 550 million identities exposed as a result of data breaches in 2013. It was also discovered that last year was the first time that the eight largest breaches were all responsible for compromising tens of millions of identities. In 2012 only the biggest data breach exposed that much information. The report went on to reveal that data breaches in general have increased 62 percent since 2012 and attacks against businesses have grown 91 percent during the same time period.

Unfortunately, it seems as though 2014 won’t be any better. According to the study, cybercrime has been especially heavy during the first six months of this year and the financial, banking and retail sectors have shoulder the brunt of the attacks. While cybercrime has dominated 2014, the report found that it has begun to intensify in recent months. Overall attacks exposed more than 10 million records from January to July of this year, and as of July 15 more than 400 data breaches have been reported.

“Breaches in particular are moving from being exceptional events to nearly commonplace,” wrote security researcher Christopher Budd in a blog post. “EBay, P.F.Chang’s, Evernote, Code Spaces and Feedly account for the highest profile data breach events this quarter, but not all of them. This quarter is showing that data breach events can affect anyone that stores data. There is no such thing as a safe industry or website now.”

Changing cyber landscape requires new security approach
Attacks in the second quarter of this year seem to be disproportionately targeting sensitive customer information, according to the report. Critical vulnerabilities affecting Internet browsing and Web services, including server-side libraries, mobile apps, operating systems and browsers, have caused major problems across all industries. Looking toward the future, the report mentioned that the Internet of Things will likely be rife with vulnerabilities and only add to the threat of cybercrime.

As companies work toward protecting sensitive systems and information against data breaches and malicious actors, one of the more reliable ways to increase defenses is by implementing security information and event management services. A SIEM solution allows enterprises to have networks monitored around the clock and any suspicious activity or anomalous behavior analyzed. This creates actionable data that businesses can then use to increase system protection and mitigate the effects of data breaches.

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