Cyber Attacks Often the Fault of Users, States Verizon and Symantec Study

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Cyber security is a growing problem. Verizon and Symantec both conducted a study that demonstrates most hacking attacks can be easily avoided. The findings show that employees often click on links or fail to properly patch computers, leaving the company open to infiltration by a hacker.

The full findings will be released during the RSA technology security conference in San Francisco next week.

Verizon conducted a full study on 290 data breaches in 2014. Of all these data breaches, nearly two-thirds, were orchestrated by phishing attacks. The issue is that employees clicked on tainted links or downloaded attachments regularly. Verizon states that sending just 10 phishing emails would result in a 90% success rate for hackers.

Symantec’s study found that state-sponsored hackers also use phishing as a viable hacking technique. Once the hacker has gained access to a system, they will often write customized programs to avoid detection.

During the study, the company also found that hackers will encrypt a company’s files with no ransom being asked. This leaves the hacker with two options: abandoned the file with no real purpose, or sell the file’s information.

The RSA Conference will be held next week in San Francisco and will include security products and vendors.

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