Cyber crime continues to evolve from basic porn spam and Trojans to complex phishing scams that use information readily available on Facebook to trick users into divulging log-in and password information.
But as eSecurity Planet reports, most of the coordinated data breaches impacted companies and consumers last year were executed by organized crime syndicates. The worst part, security experts said, is that most of these expansive and embarrassing security flubs could have easily been prevented with just a modicum of effort and commonsense.
In a nutshell, the report concludes, companies and consumers need to use security software applications and commonsense to thwart cyber threats, many of which come from insiders who have access to customer data and account information and then either use it themselves or sell it to other organized crime organizations for fraudulent purposes.
“Being prepared remains the best defense against security breaches,” the report said. “For the most part, organizations still remain sluggish in detecting and responding to incidents.”
The report found that 48 percent of data breaches were committed by insiders who abused their right to access corporate information.
Organized crime syndicates were responsible for 85 percent of all data breaches last year, according to information compiled by Verizon and the U.S. Secret Service for the 2010 Verizon Data Breach Investigations report released Wednesday.
The report, which investigated more than 900 serious data breaches that compromised more than 900 million online records, also found that the vast majority (96 percent) of the breaches could have been avoided had companies and organizations implemented basic security technology and policies.
This latest data confirms what security experts have been saying for years: cyber criminals are highly organized and capable of extracting personal information from customers and companies using socially engineered malware and sophisticated phishing scams to quickly turn stolen data into cash and goods—all from a browser.