According to the Verizon Business 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), ransomware breaches increased by 13 percent in the past year, representing a higher jump than was registered in the past five years combined.
Organized crime also continues to be a pervasive force in the world of cybersecurity. Roughly four out of five breaches can be attributed to organized crime with external actors approximately four times more likely to cause breaches in an organization than internal actors.
Heightened geopolitical tensions are also driving increased sophistication, visibility, and awareness around nation-state affiliated cyberattacks, according to the report.
“Over the past few years, the pandemic has exposed a number of critical issues that businesses have been forced to navigate in real-time. But nowhere is the need to adapt more compelling than in the world of cybersecurity,” said Hans Vestberg, CEO and Chairman, Verizon. “As we continue to accelerate toward an increasingly digitized world, effective technological solutions, strong security frameworks, and an increased focus on education will all play their part in ensuring that businesses remain secure, and customers protected.”
For many businesses, the past year has also been dominated by supply chain issues, and this trend was also reflected across the cybersecurity landscape. Sixty-two percent of system intrusion incidents came through an organization’s partner. Compromising the right partner is a force multiplier for cybercriminals and highlights the difficulties that many organizations face in securing their supply chain.
The research also notes that people continue to be the weakest link in an organizations’ cybersecurity defenses. Twenty-five percent of total breaches in the 2022 report were the result of social engineering attacks, and, when you add human errors and misuse of privilege, the human element accounts for 82 percent of analyzed breaches over the past year.
Marking its 15th anniversary, the DBIR analyzed 23,896 security incidents, of which 5,212 were confirmed breaches.
The Verizon DBIR has become a key industry indicator to the evolution of cybersecurity threats. The company urges readers to consistently assess their exposure, mitigate risks, and take appropriate action.