The Internet Society's Online Trust Alliance just released its 2018 Cyber Incident & Breach Trends Report, which says "2018–Some Better, Some Worse, All Bad."

That’s our experience, too. Here are the highlights from the report.

Although the number of data breaches and exposed records decreased, and ransomware and distributed denial of service attacks were down (that's the "some better"), "the financial impact to businesses from ransomware increased by 60%, losses from business email compromise doubled, cryptojacking incidents…more than tripled" (that's the "some worse"), and "there continued to be a steady stream of high-profile data breaches" ( that's the all bad").

It is estimated that ransomware will cost U.S. businesses $8 billion in 2018, growing to $20 billion in 2021.

Those numbers are staggering. The estimates confirm our experience that ransomware attackers are more targeted and vicious, and asking for higher ransom amounts when successful in infiltrating a system.

Formjacking

Supply chain attacks increased dramatically. According to the report, formjacking increased by 78% in 2018.

Formjacking occurs when attackers "infect a website’s submission form via a third-party supplier or malicious code carried in ads and then either scrape the information or infect the user."

Symantec estimates that in 2018 about 5,000 websites a month contained formjacking code.

BECs increased in 2018 to more than 20,000 incidents, resulting in $2 billion in losses, and which are expected to continue to rise.

The report ends by saying the trends will continue and that 95% of all incidents could have been prevented.

It provides an outline of trends, and tips for preparedness and readiness, and emphasizes that data security still comes down to people.

We agree that "ongoing employee training is a critical key to success."


About the author: Linn Foster Freedman practices in data privacy and security law, cybersecurity, and complex litigation at Robinson+Cole where she chairs the firm's data privacy and security team. The above article is also available on the firm's Data Privacy + Security Insider blog.