Cybersecurity researchers from ESET have found that fishing has been the biggest event for companies of all shapes and sizes over the past four years.
Of all the incidents reported to the ICO’s Data Security Incident Trends report, phishing was the most reported, with nearly 2,700 incidents (2,694), almost twice as many as unauthorized access in second place.
With more than 1,000 incidents, ransomware is the third most reported type of event, followed by verbal exposure of personal data and misconfiguration of hardware / software.
Over the past two years, the number of reported cybersecurity incidents has increased from 573 in Q1 2019 to 714 in Q2 2022. Most events – 737 – occurred in Q2 2020, with ESET estimates that Kovid-19 restrictions will force people to work remotely.
All sectors have been hit by cyber-attacks, but the media industry looks worse. This is a very small number of total data security incidents, ESET says, but it has the highest share of cyber incidents.
The highest number of 943 cyber incidents occurred in the retail and manufacturing sector, followed by General Business (858) and Finance, Insurance and Credit (788).
Analyzing cyber-events as a whole, ‘data emailed to the wrong recipient’ is the most common (from Q1 of 2019/20 to 3,719), followed by ‘data posted or faxed to the wrong recipient’ and ‘paperwork lost / stolen or left data unsafe location’ ( 2,806 and 1,931 events).
Jake Moore, Global Cyber Security Adviser at ESET, said that as attackers become more skilled and use better tactics, verifying authentic emails is less important.
“Criminals continue to use emails as their number one attack vector, hoping to be able to install malware or seize email accounts and disguise sensitive information disguised as a known victim.
Having security like a firewall is a must, he maintains.
“Companies need to make sure they are ready for phishing emails by having strong controls, such as spam filters and multi-factor authentication, however, user awareness and training are the best defense against these increasing attacks.”