Connectivity drives so many processes in today’s connected enterprise. The benefits of connectivity are plentiful; the IoT (Internet of Things) is game changing, and the possibilities of further innovation in this realm are exciting. The down side of connectivity is the possibility for hacks and breaches. To keep the IoT growing strong, cybersecurity threats need to be continuously measured, reported, and mitigated.

Research reports that identify cyber threats can be depressing and potentially overwhelming, but for enterprises using IoT devices and connectivity to compete effectively in this fast-paced world, nothing can bring business to a halt like a security incident can. Therefore, it’s worth staying abreast of all the latest reports, even if it’s a less-than-pleasant task.

The 2019 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, for instance, reports it recorded 10.52 billion blocked malware attacks in 2018—the most the company has recorded to date in one year. SonicWall also reported a 27% increase in blocked encrypted malware attacks in 2018 and a 217.5% increase in IoT attacks in 2018. SonicWall’s Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection tool reportedly identified 74,290 never-seen-before variants, suggesting adversaries are getting creative to come up with new, unique, and complex attacks.

Comparitech recently analyzed a decade’s worth of data to discover which states suffer most from data breaches. According to Comparitech’s research, California suffered the highest number of breaches since 2008, more than 1,400, affecting more than 5.5 billion records. Runner-ups are New York and Texas. The total cost of lost or stolen records since 2008 disturbingly amounts to more than $1.6 trillion. The FBI’s 2018 Internet Crime Report similarly ranks states by the number of internet crime victims and the amount of losses. California tops both lists, with Texas, Florida, and New York rounding out the top four in each case, though in slightly different orders.

Cyber threats disproportionately affect some industries. BakerHostetler’s 2019 Data Security Incident Response Report suggests the top five affected industries in 2018 were as follows: 25% of incidents affected healthcare, including biotech and pharma; 17% affected finance and insurance; 17% affected business and professional services, including engineering and transportation; 12% affected retail, restaurant, and hospitality, including media and entertainment; and 11% affection education.

BakerHostetler’s research also gives some insight into how incidents occurred during the research period. For instance, more than half of the time (55%), the report says an employee was to blame for a breach, with the caveat that often it was an employee mistake coupled with a threat actor’s exploitation that created the issue. A quarter of the time (27%), an unrelated (non-vendor) third party was to blame, and 11% of the time it was a vendor. Occasionally, 5% of the time, the responsible party was a malicious insider.

By keeping up with the latest cyber threat trends, including what types of threats are on the rise, what new variants have been detected, where attacks tend to happen, and how attacks tend to happen, enterprises can be aware of what they’re up against. Armed with this knowledge, enterprises can also better know what they can do to protect themselves. To learn about AI’s (artificial intelligence’s) various roles in cybersecurity, read “AI Is Both Friend And Foe in Cybersecurity.

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