Verizon 2022 DBIR investigations reveal a ransomware threat spike

Hans Vestberg, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman at Verizon

The Verizon Business 2022 DBIR examines an unprecedented year in cybersecurity, and sheds light on some of the leading issues affecting the international cybersecurity landscape.

What were the findings of Verizon’s study?

Of particular concern is the alarming rise in ransomware breaches, which increased by 13% in a single year – representing a jump greater than the past 5 years combined. As criminals look to leverage sophisticated forms of malware, it is ransomware that continues to prove particularly successful in exploiting and monetising illegal access to private information.

Organised crime continues to be a pervasive force in cybersecurity. 4 in 5 breaches can be attributed to organised crime – with external actors about 4 times more likely to cause breaches in a firm than internal actors. Heightened geopolitical tensions are driving increased sophistication, visibility, and awareness around nation-state affiliated cyber-attacks.

“Over the past few years, the pandemic has exposed some critical issues that businesses have been forced to navigate in real-time. But nowhere is the need to adapt more compelling than in the world of cybersecurity,” said Hans Vestberg, CEO and Chairman, Verizon.

“As we continue to accelerate toward an increasingly digitised world, effective technological solutions, strong security frameworks, and an increased focus on education will all play their part in ensuring that businesses remain secure, and customers protected,” Hans said.

How damaging were supply chain bottlenecks?

The past year has also been dominated by supply chain issues, and this trend was also reflected across the cybersecurity landscape. 62% of System Intrusion incidents came through an organisation’s partner. Compromising the right partner is a force multiplier for cybercriminals, and highlights the difficulties many firms face in securing their supply chain.

In a finding that exposes the cost of human influence, people remain, by far, the weakest link in an firms’ cybersecurity defenses. 25 percent of total breaches in the 2022 report were the result of social engineering attacks, and when you add human errors and misuse of privilege, the human element accounts for 82 percent of analysed breaches over the past year.

Commenting on the 2022 DBIR, Dave Hylender, Lead Author of the DBIR, said, “Entering its 15th year, Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report remains the leading authority on assessing the many cybersecurity threats that organisations continue to face.”

“And while the report has evolved, the fundamentals of security remain the same. Assess your exposure, mitigate your risk, and take appropriate action. As is often the case, getting the basics right is the single most important factor in determining success,” Dave concluded.