Study: Consumer records most targeted during online security attacks
Online security breaches continue to plague all types of companies across many industries. According to a recent study conducted by an IT solutions provider, several cyber trends took place in 2012, including increased data attacks.
The company studied more than 300 data breach incidents and 2,000 tests and concluded that the food and beverage industry was the top target of cybercriminals in 2011. This marked the second consecutive year this segment - which accounted for 44 percent of all events measured last year - experienced the greatest number of breaches.
The research also pointed to a worldwideissue associated with passwords. According to the vendor, despite incidents that have impacted companies with a global reach, businesses are still allowing their employees to use weak passwords. The study included more than 2 million passwords and determined the most common phrase is "Password1."
According to the study, nearly 90 percent of breached information is comprised of customer records, followed by intellectual property, which accounted for 6 percent of attacks.
"Industries with franchise and chain store models are the top targets primarily because franchises often use the same IT systems across stores," said the study. "If a cybercriminal can compromise a system in one location, they likely can duplicate the attack in multiple locations. More than a third of 2011 investigations occurred in a franchise business and this number is expected to rise in 2012."
Organizations with weak passwords can use password manager software to ensure their security remains up-to-date with changing hacker trends. This solution can also be helpful to protect couples from exposing their sensitive financial information. According to New York Times writer Matt Ritchel, advancements in technology have caused a dangerous situation if people are not prepared.
"Boyfriends and girlfriends sometimes even create identical passwords, and let each other read their private emails and texts," wrote Ritchel. "They say they know such digital entanglements are risky, because a souring relationship can lead to people using online secrets against each other."
If a relationship becomes strained, the consequences can also be a sticky situation. The writer noted that ex-boyfriends, especially among teens, may use their significant others' password information to spread email secrets or unlock a phone and send threatening text messages to others.