Verizon: Cyber Espionage, Privilege Misuse, Miscellaneous Errors as Top 3 Breach Patterns in Public Sector

Jeff Brody

A new Verizon report says cyber espionage, error by insiders and privilege misuse accounted for 72 percent of data breaches in the public sector.

Verizon analyzed over 41K security incidents and more than 2K data breaches from 86 countries for the 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report and found that 16 percent of breaches occurred in the public sector.

The report showed that 75 percent of breaches were associated with external threat actors and 79 percent of those external-related attacks were state-affiliated.

Thirty percent of those breaches involved an insider and espionage was the top motive of threat actors, representing 66 percent of all breaches.

The study also found that nearly 70 percent of breaches compromised internal data, while 22 percent involved personal data followed by credentials at 12 percent.

The Verizon report also includes information on threat patterns in the finance, education, accommodation and food services, health care, information, professional, manufacturing and retail sectors.

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