Data breaches increase in Q1 2017: Beazley
Specialist insurer Beazley has managed an increased number of data breaches on behalf of clients in the first quarter of 2017, driven by phishing techniques.
Beazley’s Breach Response (BBR) Services unit managed 641 data breaches between January and March 2017, compared to 462 breaches during the same period last year, according to the insurers’ Beazley Breach Insights – April 2017.
“Organisations continue to face increasingly sophisticated threats as hackers adapt and employ new methods to seize data and funds,” said Katherine Keefe, global head of BBR Services.
Beazley has seen an increase in hackers using phishing techniques to infiltrate employee email accounts and change their direct deposit account details. Once hackers have access to an employee’s email, they request a password reset from the organisation’s payroll provider and change the employee’s inbox forwarding rule to send all emails from the payroll provider to the target’s junk mail. The hackers then change the employee’s direct deposit bank account details to their own to steal funds. In addition, they may also access the employee’s W2 information and file a fraudulent tax return.
The majority of direct deposit phishing attempts occurred in the higher education sector where hacks and malware caused 48 percent of data breaches in the first quarter of 2017.
Ransomware attacks were 35 percent higher in in the first quarter of 2017 than in the same period a year ago. Although the number of ransomware attacks continues to increase rapidly, Beazley’s IT service provider partners were able to retrieve seized client data without the client making ransom payments in the majority of incidents, the company said.
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