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Verizon 2015 Security Report Names Top 3 Verticals For Data Breaches

Verizon's Bhavesh Chauhan describes why the public sector, financial services and information technology segments are top targets.

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Verizon named the public sector as one of the top three targeted verticals in its 2015 data breaches investigation report, alongside information technology and financial services.

Bhavesh Chauhan, who presented the report at the Massachusetts State House this week, said there are two reasons for the public sector’s high ranking. First, it is compelled to report data breaches for national security reasons. Second, public sector servers tend to carry sensitive, important information. In the past year, the public sector reported more than 50,000 security-related incidents and 303 confirmed data breaches, according to the report.

Chauhan said financial services’ popularity as a target is relatively self-explanatory.

’Finance is obvious, because we have some real data for the hackers to make some real good money in a pretty short space of time,’ he said.

New to the report this year is the investigation of secondary victims, or victims whose websites and servers unknowingly become a middleman for malware from malicious hackers.

’What [the hackers are] doing is they’re compromising some strategic website, distributing the malware through that website, and they’re hoping that the target will visit that website and by virtue of visiting that website, they’ll get infected,’ Chauhan said.

Chauhan said that the investigations found 70 percent of attacks over the past year somehow involved secondary victims.

’[Attackers] are very well organized. They’re analyzing the audience much better than we are analyzing them,’ he said.

PUBLISHED OCT. 7, 2015

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