27 April 2017
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Organised criminal groups have increased their use of ransomware to extort money by 50% compared with a year ago, according to Verizon.
In the company’s annual survey of data
breaches, the carrier says that ransomware has increased in
prevalence from the 22nd most common variety of malware only
three years ago.
"Some industries are under greater threat than others; for
example, ransomware accounted for 72% of all malware incidents
in the healthcare sector," says the Verizon Data Breach
Investigations Report (DBIR), which analyses over 79,000
security incidents and 1,945 confirmed data breaches, across 79
George Fischer, president of Verizon Enterprise Solutions,
said: "Our data is giving governments and organisations the
information they need to anticipate cyberattacks and more
effectively mitigate cyber-risk. By analysing data from our own
security team and that of other leading security practitioners
from around the world, we’re able to offer
valuable intelligence that can be used to transform an
organization’s risk profile."
Verizon gathered information from 67 other contributors for its
survey, which reports on the situation in 2016. Among them were
the US Secret Service and UK law firm Mishcon de Reya.
"Insights provided in the DBIR are levelling the cybersecurity
playing field," said Fischer.
Verizon also reported 289 confirmed breaches related to
espionage in the 2017 DBIR. Over 90% were attributed to
state-affiliated groups. Nation-states, competitors and former
employees were also behind these attacks, but not nearly as
common, with phishing by far the most prevalent tactic used to
target victims, said the report.