Trends in Cyber Crime: A Look at the First Half of 2014

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Health Care

  • Who (actor): Identity unknown (32 percent)
  • Targeted (target): Data (35 percent)
  • What happened (effect): PII stolen/leaked (83 percent)
  • How they did it (practice): Unauthorized access (78 percent)

When looking at distinct targets, health care dominated all other sectors. Over 27 percent of all distinct cyber crime targets are related to health care. Despite that high number, the sector only garnered 2.8 percent of the overall cyber crime discussion.

The high number is likely due, at least in part, to the increased regulatory and breach notification requirements in the health care sector. The findings are inline with other agencies including the FBI, which warned in April that the January 2015 deadline to transition to electronic health records (EHR) "will create an influx of new EHR coupled with more medical devices being connected to the Internet, generating a rich new environment for cyber criminals to exploit."

While security pros need clear insight into their organizations vulnerabilities, internal analysis alone is not enough. Outward examination - such as who is attacking other members of your business sector with what kind of attack and how it is impacting them - is a critical component of an effective cybersecurity approach. Unfortunately, oftentimes, we spend too much time looking at only a small piece of the puzzle.

A new report recently published by SurfWatch Labs, "Trends in Cybercrime: A Social Look at the First Half 2014," aggregates and standardizes cyber crime-related data from the first six months of the year into cyber business intelligence that provides some interesting insights. The standardized cyber data, known as CyberFacts, provide instant understanding of who (Actor) did what to whom (Target), what happened (Effect), and how they did it (Practice). By harnessing the collective power of all this information that exists outside an organization’s walls – from security researcher and infosec blogger discussions to news outlets, social media, vulnerability and security data feeds and more – it’s possible to extrapolate cybersecurity trends across various industries.

Here’s a top-line look at what SurfWatch Labs found in the first half of 2014 for the six most active industries.

Jason Polancich, founder and chief architect, SurfWatch Labs, is a serial entrepreneur focused on solving complex Internet security and cyber-defense problems, with more than 20 years of experience as an intelligence analyst, software engineer, systems architect and corporate executive. Prior to founding SurfWatch Labs, Mr. Polancich co-founded Novii Design, which assisted the U.S. intelligence community and Department of Defense in building some of the largest data warehouse and analysis systems ever put into operation within the government and defense contracting sectors.


Related Topics : Unisys, Stimulus Package, Security Breaches, Symantec, Electronic Surveillance

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