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Verizon Downplays Security Threats On Mobile, Says PCs Continue To Be Prime Targets For Cyber-Criminals

April 16, 2015 - Written By Kishalaya Kundu

All the reports about the rise of malware and security loopholes in smartphones is apparently not enough to convince US carrier Verizon that there’s a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Amidst all the exploits and security breaches that are becoming more common by the day, forcing Google to tighten its zero day policy, Verizon has come out with a report on data breaches, which states that irrespective of the mobile platform you’re on, security threats to your phone are generally “overblown.” The report goes on to say that the number of “exploited security vulnerabilities” regardless of the platform, is “negligible”. Verizon however does acknowledge that cyber-security is indeed a cause for concern on computers and security breaches and zero-day exploits are much more commonplace in PCs compared to smartphones.

The “2015 Data Breach Investigations Report” (DBIR), published earlier on Wednesday, states that while Cyber-attacks are increasing in sophistication, many cyber-criminals still use tried and tested techniques to get their job done. That’s because, according to Verizon, a lot of these security holes are old ones – from as far back as 2007 – but they continue to be an issue because they remain unpatched on end-user devices, even though patches have long been made available by software makers. The report takes a comprehensive look at cyber-security across platforms, including mobile security and the Internet of Things. The report goes onto say that there are only nine basic patterns, which when tended to with a more vigilant approach, can prevent almost 96 percent of all security related incidents. Some of them seem as innocuous and eminently avoidable as sending a mail to the wrong person. Other patterns include malware, privilege misuse, physical thefts, Web-App attacks, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks by co-opting IoT (Internet of Things) devices into botnets, cyber espionage, point-of-sale intrusions and payment card skimmers.

The Report is based on over 2,100 actual cases of confirmed data breaches and approximately 80,000 reported security incidents over the last year and nearly 195,000 security incidents from the past decade. Verizon is among 70 organizations worldwide, that contributed data and analysis to this year’s report.