The annual Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR) by NTT Com Security reveals that there has been little improvement in preparedness, with the latest figures indicating a slight increase in organizations that are not properly prepared, despite the rise in security attacks and data breaches.
Pulling information from 24 security operations centers, seven R&D centers, 3.5 trillion logs and 6.2 billion attacks in 2015, the GTIR shows that over the last three years, on average 77 percent of organizations fall into the ‘unprepared’ category, leaving just 23 percent with the capability to respond effectively to critical security incidents.
“Prevention and planning for cyber security incidents seems to be stagnating, according to the figures in both the GTIR and our recent Risk:Valuereport,” says Garry Sidaway, VP Security Strategy & Alliances, NTT Com Security. “This is a real concern and could be down to a number of reasons; not least the possibility of security fatigue—too many high profile security breaches, information overload and conflicting advice—combined with the sheer pace of technology change, lack of investment and increased regulation.
“Facing security challenges that didn’t exist last year, let alone a decade ago, and struggling with a shortfall in information security professionals, many organizations no longer have the necessary skills or resources to cope. Our mantra is prevention is better than cure and get the security basics right, including having a clear, well-communicated incident response plan.”
Although financial services was the leading sector for incident response in previous annual GTIR reports, the retail sector now takes the lead, with 22 percent of all response engagements, up from 12 percent the previous year. Retail—a popular target due to processing large volumes of personal information such as credit card details—experienced the highest number of attacks per client.
Other incident response statistics from the 2016 GTIR:
The report shows an increase in breach investigations, with 28 percent in 2015 compared to 16 percent the previous year, with many incidents focused on theft of data and intellectual property.
Internal threats jumped to 19 percent of overall investigations—from 2 percent in 2014. Many of these were the result of employees and contractors abusing information and computing assets.
Spear phishing attacks accounted for approximately 17 percent of incident response activities in 2015, up from 2 percent previously. Many of these attacks related to financial fraud targeting executives and finance personnel, with attackers using clever social engineering tactics, such as getting organizations to pay fake invoices.
Despite a rise in distributed denial of service (DDoS) hacking groups like DD4BC and Armada Collective, the GTIR noted a drop in DDoS related activity compared to the previous two years. This is likely to be due to an investment in DDoS mitigation tools and services.