Verizon warns cybersecurity attacks are ‘still alive and well’ in latest data breach report | #cybercrime | #infosec

Giving a FOX Business-exclusive look into why and how data security breaches occur in the first place, Verizon Business Managing Director of Cybersecurity Chris Novak joined “Mornings with Maria,” Tuesday, to break down the latest findings on the underbelly of cyber-crime.

“I’d point out that things like ransomware are still alive and well. We see them really topping the charts,” Novak told host Maria Bartiromo.

“But interestingly enough, it’s the first time that we’ve actually ever seen them level off,” he continued, “but I’d say that’s a bit of a cautionary celebration, because I think there’s probably still another shoe to drop as it relates to ransomware.”

According to Verizon’s recently released 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report, there were 5,199 data breaches in the past year, with social engineering attacks almost doubling and ransomware holding statistically steady at 24%.


The report also indicated that 83% of data breaches involved external actors, with Verizon claiming the motivation for their attacks remains largely financial.


Various cybersecurity threats are “still alive and well,” Verizon Business Managing Director of Cybersecurity Chris Novak said on “Mornings with Maria” Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

“We also see a lot of increases in things like social engineering, so where people get tricked into giving up credentials or access or other forms of sensitive information,” Novak explained. “This continues to be one of the things that I often refer to as the belly-button breaches, the role that the human plays in a lot of these events is substantial.”

“It’s not just about what can we do from a technology standpoint to solve cybersecurity, but also what can we do from a people standpoint,” he added.

According to the Verizon Business managing director, the “bad” external actors come from a “whole swath” of different organizations or individuals who are typically seeking financial gain.

In fact, about 90% of all cybercrime Verizon sees is related to organized crime groups that target data that’s easily convertible to cash.

“It’s about monetizing the breach for them. And then the remaining, typically single-digit percentage is more in the nation-state realm; so those actors are typically much more well-resourced, typically they’re going after things like intellectual property,” Novak noted. “And it may be a combination of that espionage to steal data for competitive advantage purposes, or even in some more extreme cases, sabotage, where maybe they can cause some types of physical harm.”

“Now, with the way that our cyber systems are integrated with society, there’s a much greater impact to things like actual loss of life,” Novak also said.

For businesses that want to get ahead of a data breach, Verizon recommends organizations stay vigilant in maintaining their “cyber hygiene.”

“Protect your password, your credentials. I always strongly advocate things like multi-factor authentication,” Novak recommended. “This is where you might have an app on your phone, for example, where it would give you a code to assist in your log-in.”

And though it might sound elementary, Novak additionally encouraged business leaders to run data breach “fire drills,” where teams practice proper protocols in the event of a breach.

“We might have a plan for what happens if there’s a fire in the building,” he explained, “but until we’ve actually gone through those fire drills and practiced what we do in one of those emergencies, we don’t necessarily know where there might be problems in our policy.”

“So it’s important that we get out there and actually do those simulations and see where we may have gaps in order to address it.”


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