Data Breaches – Unauthorized Access Accounts for Half of All the Attacks Globally

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Data Breaches – Unauthorized Access Accounts for Half of All the Attacks Globally

What level of trust can and should people place on innovative solutions and devices amid the rising cyber-attacks globally?

With the increased digital transformation initiatives since the beginning of the pandemic, advanced technologies like AI, automation, ML, etc. are no longer the future – it is already here and in rapid use within businesses, homes, and often in our pockets.

As the role of technology usage continues to expand in daily operations, the most critical question that has emerged is – what level of trust people can and should have on innovative solutions and devices amid the rising cyber-attacks globally?

Indeed, the year 2020 observed massive digital migration worldwide. Businesses and individuals operated almost everything remotely and are still doing, doubling their time spent online. In such a scenario, the total number of breaches increased, however, the number of 100-million plus record mega-breaches dropped.

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Threat actors broadened their attack surfaces in order to include organizations of all sizes and different industries to seize valuable assets and data. There has been an almost 450% surge in data breaches containing usernames as well as passwords globally, reveal a recent ForgeRock study.

The security researchers also found unauthorized access as the leading cause of breaches for the third consecutive year – increasing year-over-year for the last two years. It accounted for roughly 43% of all breaches in 2020. In fact, breaches affecting smaller enterprises saw a maximum surge with almost a 50% spike.

Even smaller organizations involve tens of millions of records – given the rapid scale towards digitization. As a result, it is clear that all organizations (irrespective of size) are prime targets and cannot afford to put off or delay adopting a zero-trust cybersecurity posture.

Questionable yet common cybersecurity practices such as sharing or reusing passwords allow attackers an easy path to gain access to personally identifiable information. These are DOB and Social Security Number information that is found in about 33% of all breaches.

In this context, Fran Rosch, CEO of ForgeRock, explains – “For too long, usernames and passwords have been the backbone of providing people secure access to their digital lives. The findings in our identity breach report reveal that it’s time for a change.”

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Some of the key highlights from the study are –

  • Attacks like phishing (25%) and ransomware (17%) are the second and third most frequent causes of data breaches.
  • The average cost of a data breaches in the US increased to nearly $8.64 million – this is the highest in the world.
  • The most targeted industry for the second year is healthcare – with the highest number of breaches.
  • The number of mega-breaches decreased but the total number increased to 930. This is up from 887 in 2019.
  • The technology industry paid the highest aggregate cost for recovery from breaches with almost $288 billion.

Fran Rosch continued, “The surge in breaches involving usernames and passwords at an astounding 450% clearly emphasizes the need to adopt a strong digital identity and access management solution that offers the ability to go passwordless. It also gives companies a much better chance at reducing data exposure, as well as lowering their reputational and financial risk.”

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