Financial Gain, Espionage Fueled Private, Public-Sector Cyberattacks in 2018

Cyber incidents and data breaches in 2018 were overwhelmingly driven by hopes for financial gain in private-sector and state-sponsored cyber-espionage in public-sector attacks, Verizon found in its Data Breach Investigations Report released last week.

In examining 41,686 security incidents and 2,013 data breaches across 86 countries, Verizon found that most attacks overall – about 71 percent – were fueled by financial gain, while 25 percent of cases were motivated by espionage.

Overall, a large share of overall incidents targeted small businesses, which comprised 43 percent of the breach victims Verizon reviewed, while public-sector, healthcare, and financial organizations comprised 16, 15, and 10 percent of victims, respectively.

Amid overall trends of financial compromise, state-sponsored cyber-espionage overwhelmingly dominated the causes for public-sector attacks. 79 percent of public-sector breaches involved external actors, and 66 percent of public-sector attacks were motivated by espionage, while only 29 percent were financially motivated.

Cyber-espionage in the

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