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Large-Scale Financial Cybercrime, State-Affiliated Espionage Dominate Security Landscape, Finds 'Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report'

NEW YORK, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The " Verizon 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report" reveals that large-scale financial cybercrime and state-affiliated espionage dominated the security landscape in 2012.  Taking the top spot for all breaches in the 2013 report is financially motived cybercrime (75 percent), with state-affiliated espionage campaigns claiming the No. 2 spot (20 percent).  Breaches in the No. 2 spot include cyberthreats aimed at stealing intellectual property -- such as classified information, trade secrets and technical resources -- to further national and economic interests. 

The 2013 DBIR also found that the proportion of incidents involving hacktivists -- who act out of ideological motivations or even just for fun -- held steady; but the amount of data stolen decreased, as many hacktivists shifted to other methods such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.  These attacks, aimed at paralyzing or disrupting systems, also have significant costs because they impair business and operations.   

"The bottom line is that unfortunately, no organization is immune to a data breach in this day and age," said Wade Baker, principal author of the Data Breach Investigations Report series.  "We have the tools today to combat cybercrime, but it's really all about selecting the right ones and using them in the right way. 

"In other words, understand your adversary – know their motives and methods, and prepare your defenses accordingly and always keep your guard up," Baker said. 

In 2012, victims represented a wide range of industries.  Thirty-seven percent of breaches affected financial organizations, and 24 percent affected retailers and restaurants.  Twenty percent of network intrusions involved the manufacturing, transportation and utilities industries, with the same percentage affecting information and professional services firms.  Of all cyberattacks, 38 percent impacted larger organizations and represented 27 different countries.

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