Raven | 22 September, 2017
Data Breaches and Credential Compromises: A Threat to Every Company
Data breaches continue to plague businesses and governments. Small businesses have become the number one target of hackers as they are viewed as easy targets. However large corporations are also prized targets of criminals, industrial espionage agents, and state actors. Be it Equifax, Target, Netflix, or the local pizza restaurant, all have to combat cyber threats.
Infocyte recently noted that “many of the breaches have gone undetected for weeks, months and sometimes years. We call this the Breach Detection Gap (BDG) or dwell time, and it is defined as the time elapsed between the initial breach of a network by an attacker and the discovery of that breach by the victim.”
In a July 2017 report, FireEye found that the global BDG is a staggering 146-days. Criminals, hackers, and foreign government cyber agents have ample time to pilfer networks they breach. Further alarming is the 2017 Trustwave Global Report which identified that 81% of intrusions were not detected by internal security.
Financial firms continue to be priority targets for hackers and likely foreign state actors. While the full details of the recent Equifax data breach are not yet public, many indicators point to foreign government involvement in the data breach and potentially the result of compromised employee credentials. The data breach appears to have gone undetected for an astonishing 70-80 days. The 2017 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) study found that a whopping 81% of data breaches involved stolen or weak passwords, and that financial services firms are still the top dogs in confirmed breaches, with health care running second. The DBIR also noted that the typical time-to-compromise continues to be measured in minutes, while time-to-discovery remains in weeks or months.
The DBIR pointed out that over a billion credential sets were stolen in 2016, more than three times greater than the previous high-water mark in 2013. The McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions report forecasted increased credential theft activity for 2017, and a continued rise in stolen credentials.
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