Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report finds cybercriminals are exploiting human nature

Cybercriminals are continuing to exploit human nature as they rely on familiar attack patterns such as phishing, and increase their reliance on ransomware, where data is encrypted and a ransom is demanded, finds the Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report.

This year’s report highlights repeating themes from prior year’s findings and storylines that continue to play off of human nature, including:

  • Eighty-nine (89) percent of all attacks involve financial or espionage motivations.
  • Most attacks exploit known vulnerabilities that have never been patched despite patches being available for months, or even years. In fact, the top 10 known vulnerabilities accounted for 85 percent of successful exploits.
  • Sixty-three (63) percent of confirmed data breaches involve using weak, default or stolen passwords.
  • 95 percent of breaches and 86 percent of security incidents fall into nine patterns
  • Ransomware attacks increased by 16 percent over 2015 findings.
  • Basic defenses continue to be sorely lacking in many organizations.

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