Visible to the public SoS Musings #13 - Uncle Sam Underdog in Cyber FightConflict Detection Enabled

SoS Musings #13

Uncle Sam Underdog in Cyber Fight

Each time a government employee opens their email inbox, they face the risk of initiating a data breach that can inflict significant damage to the organization in which they work. Verizon's 11th edition of its Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) provides information on recent cyber incidents in an effort to raise awareness and understanding about the evolving state of cybersecurity threats. According to the findings highlighted in the report, a majority of the 304 confirmed data breaches experienced by the public sector in 2017 were launched by state-affiliated actors. The motive of such actors is often to perform cyber espionage in order to steal government secrets and personal data belonging to government employees. The methods used to perform this malicious activity include phishing, creating backdoors, using C2 channels, and more.

The DBIR highlights the fact that financial pretexting and phishing were involved in 93 percent of the breaches investigated by Verizon. In conjunction with this finding, email continues to be cited as the main entry point used to execute attacks. In addition, studies show that organizations are more likely to suffer a data breach as a result of social attacks. These findings call for further employee education on phishing.