A new report from cybersecurity firm Flashpoint shows that almost 2000 data breaches occurred in the first 6 months of 2022. Around 60% of these breach events were caused by hacking.
Compared to the number of data breaches in 2021, we are seeing a downward trend. However, this does not necessarily indicate that data breaches are decreasing, as many companies don’t report an attack in the same month or even same year that it occurs. What’s concerning is that most of these breaches were caused by hackers and state-sponsored cybercriminal groups from countries like North Korea and Russia. It almost makes you long back to the days of script kiddies.
Hackers Are the Main Cause of Data Theft
Direct cybersecurity threats and state-sponsored cyberattacks are on the rise, setting new challenges for security companies and government agencies. Despite the lower numbers of data breaches compared to previous years, Flashpoint expects 2022 to end on an upward trajectory. Inga Goddijn, Flashpoint’s VP of structured intelligence had this to say:
“There are multiple reasons for the drop of data breaches, but the main contributor is the continued slowness of breach disclosures… The good news is that reporting cadences are beginning to return to normal. As reporting catches up, we anticipate the number of breaches will actually match or exceed 2021.”
Hackers’ main targets have been the healthcare, finance, and IT sectors. The only good news is that the number of insider attacks and mismanaged databases and systems has decreased significantly. Also, insider attacks involve painless breaches like customer credit card theft or mistakes like sending data to the wrong email address.
The endless cat and mouse game in cybersecurity is improving the way we handle data and how we defend against malicious actors. More and more small businesses and average internet users are also starting to invest in security measures like VPNs and cybersecurity suites.
Personal Data Is the Primary Interest of Hackers
The theft of sophisticated technology and proprietary source code is minimal, albeit costly. Credit card data theft is also occurring on a small scale. In fact, what hackers and cybercriminal groups are most interested in is personal data.
The Flashpoint report shows that the most stolen data items are names, social security numbers, addresses, medical information, and email addresses. These are the same data items that companies trade, legally or illegally. For example, earlier this year, several hospital websites were caught sharing similar data types with Facebook.
Protect Your Personal Data
You can’t prevent companies from being breached, but you can protect your personal data from being used against you. Most hackers use your information in phishing attempts and a wide variety of online scams. Marketers also use the same data to push their intrusive ads whenever you open your browser or inbox.
To avoid your data from being compromised, start using a password manager and create strong passwords. You’d be surprised how many people and even companies get hacked for using a password like “123456” or “Password1.” Hackers look for vulnerabilities, so don’t give them any to take advantage of.
Another way to protect yourself is to use a powerful VPN on all your devices. CyberGhost VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between you and the internet, hiding your real IP address and protecting your data with military-grade encryption. Install CyberGhost VPN on up to 7 devices simultaneously and protect your entire household against data thieves. Your data is your property and nobody has the right to steal it.
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