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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : April 28, 2016

Data breaches take seconds, detection far longer

New research from Verizon reveals that the time between data being compromised and that breach being discovered is increasing.

by Helen Leggatt

In their study of 64,199 incidents and 2,260 confirmed breaches in 82 countries, Verizon found that while the time taken to compromise data is decreasing, the time taken to detect that breach is increasing.

Shorter times to compromise data are the result of successful phishing attacks, says Verison, Today, 1 in 10 is successful with around 30% of users opening messages and 12% clicking on attachments. Once that attachment is opened, malware is "dropped" within seconds and the compromise of ATMS and petrol pumps happens almost instantly. In fact, "miscellaneous errors" made by company employees is the leading cause of reported data breaches, says Verizon.

According to Phillip Kemp of Pinsent Masons, methods of detection are not keeping up. "It's taking longer to discover breaches as the sophistication of attacks, and the skillsets of the attackers behind them, continue to grow," he told "It's an escalating arms race."

Verizon's research found that 82% of system compromises happen within minutes of the start of an attempt, yet only 3% of breaches are detected in that timeframe. Instead, the time it takes for the vast majority of breaches to be detected is counted in weeks. Less than 25% are detected in "days or less."

Tags: data breach, research, security

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