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Uh, Oh, Cyber Incidents Double in 2017

The Online Trust Alliance (OTA) has released a report revealing that security-related incidents targeting businesses nearly doubled from 82,000 in 2016 to 159,700 in 2017. 

The truth of the matter is, most cyber incidents are never reported, so the actual number could easily exceed 350,000 according to the OTA.

In its Cyber Incident & Breach Trends Report the OTA highlights concerns around how large-scale data breaches, uncertainties about how data is being used, cybercrime and other online threats are impacting Internet users’ trust in the Internet.

OTA found that in 2017 there were 134,000 ransomware attacks on businesses, nearly doubling that of 2016. In mid-2017 another type of ransomware attack emerged—the ransom denial-of-service attack (RDoS). In this attack, criminals send an email to domain owners threatening a DDoS attack that will make a website inoperable unless a ransom (usually via Bitcoin) is paid. OTA recommends proactive planning for crisis management, forensics specialists and law enforcement, and suggests that organizations be prepared by setting up a Bitcoin wallet in the event ransom payment is deemed necessary for a given incident.

“Surprising no one, 2017 marked another ‘worst year ever’ in data breaches and cyber incidents around the world,” said Jeff Wilbur, director of the OTA initiative at the Internet Society. “This year’s big increase in cyberattacks can be attributed to the skyrocketing instances of ransomware and the bold new methods of criminals using this attack.”

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