F-Secure’s new Incident Response Report points to email inboxes as the weakest link in security perimeters, and finds that companies struggle with quickly and accurately detecting security incidents.
Over one-third of all security incidents start with phishing emails or malicious attachments sent to company employees, according to the report, which summarizes findings from F-Secure’s incident response investigations and provides insights into how real hackers attack organizations.
The single most common source of breaches analyzed in the report was attackers exploiting vulnerabilities in an organization’s Internet facing services, which accounted for about 21 percent of security incidents investigated by F-Secure’s incident responders. But phishing and emails with malicious attachments together accounted for about 34 percent of breaches.
Other significant findings in the report include:
- Organizations were hit by targeted and opportunistic attacks in nearly equal proportion to one another;
- Insider threats accounted for one-fifth of security incidents;
- Incident responders were contacted after the security perimeter was breached in nearly 80 percent of cases;
- The most common post-breach action taken by attackers was spreading malware (mostly for financial gain, but also for espionage or maintaining access for future purposes);
- 13 percent of investigations turned out to be false alarms.
Read the report (PDF).