We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
RSS FeedTechnology

Data intruders 'affect 174 million digital records'

Cyber criminals activity increased by more than 4,000 percent

Article comments

Some 174 million digital records were compromised by data intruders in 2011, according to Verizon's annual data breach report.

The number of records clipped by cyber criminals increased by more than 4,000 percent over 2010, when only four million records were compromised.

The large increase in data thievery can be attributed partially by hacktivist activity during the period. According to Verizon, 58 percent of the 855 breaches studied in the report involved data stolen by hackers.

Although a large number of records were compromised in 2011, the year was only the second-highest since Verizon began collecting breach information in 2004.

Despite the volume of records stolen, the monetary damage resulting from the breaches appears to be minimal, according to the report.

"While a few 2011 breach victims estimated their losses to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, most did not get near to that amount," it said. "In fact, the large majority of them emerged relatively unscathed from their troubles."

More than ever, personal identifying information has become a target of digital criminals, Verizon researchers said. Some 95 percent of the records robbed by intruders in 2011 contained information such as a person's name, contact information and social security number. That compares to 1 percent in 2010.

Two disturbing findings in the report were how many of the data breaches were opportunistic (79 percent) and how many were totally avoidable (97 percent) without the victimized organizations needing to launch difficult or expensive countermeasures to foil the data bandits.

What's more, most of the breaches (96 percent) could be performed without any advanced skills or extensive resources.

"While they were inconvenienced and probably had a sleepless night or two, they returned to normal business operations before too long," the Verizon report added.

Verizon teamed up with several law enforcement agencies around the world to prepare its report. Those agencies include the Secret Service, the Dutch national high-tech crime unit, the Australian federal police, the Irish Reporting & Information Security Service and the Police Central e-Crime Unit of the London Metropolitan Police.

"With the participation of our law enforcement partners around the globe, the 2012 Data Breach Investigations Report offers what we believe is the most comprehensive look ever into the state of cyber security," Wade Baker, Verizon's director of risk intelligence, observed in a statement.



Data intruders 'affect 174 million digital records'

What does your perfect datacentre look like?

What does your perfect datacentre look like?

The financial impact of rising energy bills is a headache for companies toomore ..

iPhone sales drive strong Apple earnings

Apple's iPad shipments decline, but revenue and profit increasemore ..

Facebook sales leap as mobile ad business grows

Mobile ad sales comprised nearly 60% of the company's total ad salesmore ..

Raspberry Pi alternatives emerge to fill need for speed

The HummingBoard and $50 Banana Pi are faster alternatives to the popular $25 Raspberry Pi PCmore ..

What UK business needs to do now with big data

In the final of a three-part series, we look at the potential for companies to become victims in the battle for big datamore ..

Ethical questions around big data

In the second of a three-part series, Pat Brans looks at the ethics of collecting 'big data'more ..

Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

In Depth
Do you have what it takes to become a non-executive?

Do you have what it takes to become a non-executive?

The benefits of board service for CFOs more ..

In Depth
How M&A teams can create value by challenging the CEO

How M&A teams can create value by challenging the CEO

A typical “hold” period of nine to 18 months can generate increased sale value more ..


* *