In 2012, the Verizon Data Breach report along with Mandiant (now FireEye) APT1 report (http://intelreport.mandiant.com/). found that geopolitical and foreign nation attacks were on the rise. There was a real threat to businesses and organization causing financial loss, intellectual property compromise, and destabilization in business and brand worthiness. Things have changed in this new Data Breach report.
In the current report, Verizon dubbing 2013 as the year of the retailer breach. Attackers were relentlessly attacking retailers. It seemed every week there was an occurrence where personal and private information was being compromised. The Target breach (source: http://krebsonsecurity.com/tag/target-data-breach/) was one of the most publicized breaches of 2013. However, others made the breach list such as Michaels, Schnucks, Living Social, Evernote, and Adobe.
The data shows there are specific industries that appear to be more of a target for cyber attacks than others. It states, “certain sectors will always skew higher in the victim count given their attractiveness to financially motivated actors”. This would explain why a large amount of cyber attacks is around financial scams. We also saw a general increase in other financially motivated crimes such as “smash and grab”, credit card skimmers, and attacks against point of sale systems.
Basically it comes down to this simple fact: Attackers will target where victims are spending the most time. This contradicts the old thought “I won’t be at risk if I don’t spend time on malware infested sources such as free software or pornography websites”. As shown in this report and particularly where the largest amounts of attackers were seen, hackers are targeting online retail because that’s where the growth was in 2013 for shopping. Accenture pointed this out in a report last year claiming more people will shop online for Christmas gifts than at the store (resource http://www.accenture.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDF/Accenture-Holiday-Survey-Results-2013-Slideshow.pdf). More online spending means more online targets. The next diagram shows Finance and Retail being the top targets of 2013.