Ransomware attacks soar in 2016, projected to double again 2017.
Ransomware attacks handled by Beazley more than quadrupled in 2016, with nearly half of these attacks in the healthcare sector, and Beazley projects these attacks will double again in 2017. Organizations appear to be particularly vulnerable to attacks during IT system freezes, at the end of financial quarters and during busy shopping periods. Evolving ransomware variants enable hackers to methodically investigate a company's system, selectively lock the most critical files, and demand higher ransoms to get the more valuable files unencrypted.
The rise of unintended disclosure as a breach cause indicates that formerly small mistakes now have the potential to quickly lead to large data breaches. Employee education and training, up to date IT system protections and an incident response plan for when a breach occurs continue to be the best defenses against these attacks.
2016 data breach trends
Breaking the bank
Hacks and malware accounted for 40% of financial institution data breaches in 2016, up from 27% in 2015. Unintended disclosure - mainly caused by misdirected emails - was also up, rising to 28% of breaches in 2016 from 24% in 2015.
Higher education hacking
Hacks and malware accounted for nearly half of higher education data breaches in 2016 (45%), up from 35% of breaches in 2015. Unintended disclosures caused 28% of breaches in 2016, up from 22% in 2015.
Four steps organizations can take to help protect their data
Perfect cyber security is impossible to attain, but there are steps organizations can take to protect their data. Here are four key steps organizations can take to minimize the risk:
- Deploy prevention and detection tools;
- Use threat intelligence services;
- Train managers and employees on cyber security and threat awareness; and
- Conduct risk assessments focused on identifying and protecting sensitive data.
Read the Beazley Breach Insights - January 2017 report.