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INCOMPETENCE AND CARELESSNESS ARE TO BLAME FOR MOST DATA BREACHES

Source: PrivaTech Consulting

Posted on July 3, 2008

      Eighty-seven percent of data breaches could have been prevented with reasonable security precautions, according to a study of over 500 forensic investigations conducted by Verizon Business Security Solutions. Verizon's study of actual data breach investigations from 2004 through 2007 suggests that incompetence and carelessness represents the greatest threat to business information. The study found that breaches were attributable a combination of events more frequently than a single action, including: a significant error (62%), hacking and intrusions (59%), malicious code (31%), an exploited vulnerability (22%), and physical threats (15%).

      But for 90% of the known vulnerabilities exploited, patches were available for at least six months prior to the attack. This data point alone suggests that installing software patches as soon as they're made available will significantly reduce the chance of a data breach.

      Based on the cases investigated, the type of data compromised falls into the following categories: payment card data (84%), personally identifiable information (32%), non-sensitive data (16%), authentication credentials (15%), other sensitive data (10%), intellectual property (8%), corporate financial data (5%), and medical/patient data (3%).




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