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Verizon 2017 DBIR Highlights Concerning Increase In State and State-Affiliated Cyberespionage

New York, NY – GRA Quantum is proud to be a contributor of data and analysis to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) for the second consecutive year. The DBIR presents authoritative insights on the specific cybersecurity challenges faced by major industries. This year, the report highlights cyberespionage as a top threat, particularly to the manufacturing, education, and public sectors. As the report explains, state-affiliated actors are turning to social attacks, primarily phishing attacks, to gain a foothold in internal networks. GRA Quantum issued the following statement from its President, Tom Boyden, regarding the increasing rate of state-affiliated cyberespionage:

This latest report demonstrates that any organization—public or private—that has valuable information faces a growing threat from state-affiliated actors. State-affiliated actors are well-resourced, sophisticated, and strategic.

Rudimentary security lapses serve as an open door to all threat actors, including state-affiliated actors, and the report shows that. A quarter of phishing breaches are attributed to state-affiliated actors conducting espionage operations as compared to the nine percent reported in the 2016 DBIR. We agree with the report and firmly believe that companies need to do more in elevating employee security awareness and ensuring that basic security measures are in place to prevent breaches.

However, as the most obvious footholds into an organization’s internal network are eliminated, state-affiliated actors will undoubtedly turn to more advanced means of gaining entry. All signs, including the 2017 DBIR, indicate that the threat of state-affiliated cyberespionage will continue to grow. The data and intellectual property that organizations harbor are simply too valuable.

 While organizations are increasingly aware of these threats, without closer support from relevant government agencies, industry remains vulnerable. At minimum, the private and public sectors need wider information and resource sharing to counter state-affiliated cyber threats.


Will Schweitzer

About GRA Quantum

GRA Quantum is a pioneering information security firm founded upon the belief that every organization has the right to keep their data private and secure. Our mission is to build close partnerships with our clients, serving them not just as a vendor but as trusted advisors helping them to build effective, proactive plans. Our focus is always on both the technical and human elements within an organization. We believe in comprehensive strategies designed to harden networks, deflect attackers, and rapidly recover from any incidents. As technology progresses, so too do our tactics, ensuring our experts are always prepared to serve forward-looking leaders eager to stay ahead of emerging threats. GRA Quantum is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Global Risk Advisors.