Official TEKConn Blog

Report outlines cyber threats to healthcare, finance industries

A new report from Verizon highlights cyber security threats among various industries.

A new report from Verizon highlights cyber security threats among various industries.

Earlier this week, Verizon released a study meant to give snapshots of various industries and how they are affected by cybercrime. Among those included in the "Verizon 2012 and 2011 Data Breach Investigations Report" were the healthcare and financial and insurance sectors.

Cyber attacks are becoming more organized and more sophisticated, placing companies at greater risk than ever before. According to the study's findings, the financial and insurance industry remains an extremely high-value target and, as such, attracts more attention from hackers than most other members of the business world.

These criminals don't just target websites. They are constantly developing new methods for stealing critical information from customers and employees of financial institutions as well. Wherever they can find a weak link in the chain, they will focus a significant amount of their resources on exploiting it.

In the healthcare industry, practices and facilities with fewer than 100 employees are at the greatest risk of being breached, Verizon reports. Furthermore, known attacks were almost always the result of a coordinated effort by an organized group of hackers.

"Understanding what happens when a data breach occurs is critical to proactive prevention," said Wade Baker, Verizon managing principal, RISK team. "Through our more targeted analysis, we are hoping to provide answers to businesses around the globe that want to protect not only their data but their reputation."

Managed IT support is often the best defense against such infiltrations. Not only does this protect small business networks against external assaults, but providers can also train staff members on IT best practices. The strongest lock doesn't make a difference if someone opens the door from the inside. Making sure employees are properly educated on how to use IT assets without creating vulnerabilities that hackers will gladly target is critical for the data security of any company.