Cyber-espionage Most Common Public Sector Breach, Says Report

Internet crime concept.

Cyber-spying runs wild in government, with state-linked adversaries accounting for 79% of all breaches involving external actors, according to new research.

The Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report looks at nearly 41,700 security incidents and over 2,000 data breaches provided by public and private entities globally. Industries examined include accommodation and food services; financial and insurance; educational services; health care; information; public administration; manufacturing; retail; and professional, technical and scientific services.

Among the key public sector findings: government entities accounted for 16% of all breaches, and privilege misuse and errors by insiders made up 30% of breaches in this sector. Hackers’ two top motives to target government entities were espionage (66%) and financial (29%).

The data also showed that breaches in the public sector take “months and years to be discovered” and are over 2.5 times more likely to be undiscovered for years. Privilege misuse is the most common pattern within breaches that went undetected for months or more.

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