2016: The Year of the Mega Breach

“Excuse me, are you aware of what’s happening right now? We’re facing 20 billion security events every day. DDoS campaigns, ransomware, malware attacks …” says a woman sternly to an associate in a recently aired commercial featuring Watson and IBM Security. She may have been an actor, but the question and the threats she described plague real-world organizations and their security operations teams daily.

 

The Year of the Mega Breach

IBM X-Force knows the difficulties organizations face when it comes to finding time to step back from day-to-day operations to look at the big security picture. Because of this, they may be left with many unanswered questions, such as:

  • What cybercrime trends have surfaced over the last year?
  • What are the most prevalent mechanisms of attack and what steps do we need to take to mitigate those attacks?
  • Is my industry one of the most targeted in terms of attacks, and is there something to learn from those that have experienced fewer compromises?
  • Are the majority of attacks coming from inside or outside my network? Is the makeup of the insider attacks mostly malicious or inadvertent?

Read the complete IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index Now

Image for Michelle Alvarez's 3/29 blog,

Fortunately, IBM X-Force takes the guesswork out of assessing the security threat landscape for organizations with the IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index. To form assessments regarding the threat landscape, X-Force researchers draw on numerous data sources to include both data from monitored security clients — billions of events per year from more than 8,000 client devices in more than 100 countries — and data derived from noncustomer assets, such as spam sensors and honeynets.

The Big Security Picture

The following key trends point to a continued need to focus on security fundamentals.

  • World-changing leaks: The security landscape was rocked with unprecedented leaks of comprehensive datasets, with over 4 billion compromised records exposed.
  • Tried-and-true methods: Cybercriminals continue to favor older attack methods to gain access to valuable data and resources, including command injection, malware toolkits and ransomware.
  • Decline in attacks: The average IBM monitored security client experienced fewer attacks compared to last year, down 12 percent. But that doesn’t necessarily mean less danger; it could indicate that attackers are relying more on proven attacks, thus requiring fewer strikes.

For a closer look at the full cyberthreat landscape for 2016, download the complete IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2017.

Read the IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index Now

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Michelle Alvarez

Threat Researcher and Editor, IBM Managed Security Services

Michelle Alvarez is a Threat Researcher and Editor for IBM's Managed Security Services; she brings more than 10 years of industry experience to her role. In this role she focuses communications efforts around threat research and mitigation. Michelle joined IBM through the Internet Security Services (ISS) acquisition, where she served as an Analyst on the X-Force Vulnerability Database Team.