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Silhouette of a man. Photo: Alexander Ryumin / TASS via Getty Images

The number of cyber incidents globally doubled to 159,700 last year, according to the Online Trust Alliance’s (OTA) Cyber Incident & Breach Trends Report released Thursday.

Why it matters: Given "that most incidents are not reported, this number could easily exceed 350,000," Jeff Wilbur, director of the OTA initiative at the Internet Society writes.

More from the report:

  • “This is more than 30 times the number of breaches alone, so provides a very different perspective on the threat landscape."
  • “93% were avoidable.”
  • The "rise in the number of incidents was primarily driven by a doubling in ransomware infections."
  • But "there was growth in all facets, indicating that organizations must take a comprehensive view of their defenses.”
  • “2017 marked another ‘worst year ever’ in data breaches and cyber incidents around the world,” Wilbur said in a statement.
  • 1 new thing: Ransomware denial-of-service attacks (RDoS). In this operation, hackers threaten a DDoS attack unless a ransom is paid.

But, but, but: “With all the technology, it’s easy to forget that users are the most important gatekeepers to your systems and data. Equipping them to make good decisions and instilling a culture of security…(through mechanisms such as multi-factor authentication and limiting access levels appropriate to the role) and monitoring systems for anomalous behavior can go a long way toward securing your systems.”

The report analyzes threat intelligence data on data breaches, ransomware targeting, business email compromises, DDoS, and critical infrastructure hacks from Cybersecurity Ventures, the FBI, Malwarebytes, the Ponemon Institute, Proofpoint, Risk Based Security, Symantec, and Verizon.

Go deeper

23 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID

Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Note: Margin of error for the entire sample is ±3.1%; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

During the last year, Americans have felt stressed out and worried about the coronavirus — but now more say they're hopeful as the vaccines become available, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: Americans finally see some light at the end of the tunnel as we approach the one-year anniversary of the national emergency over the pandemic — a year that has been full of misery, mental anguish, and sickness and death here and around the world.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

2 Americans accused of helping Ghosn escape in Japanese custody

Former Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn during a news conference in Jounieh, Lebanon, last September. Photo: Hasan Shaaban/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Two Americans accused of helping former Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn flee Japan in a box in 2019 were taken into Japanese custody after arriving at an airport near Tokyo Tuesday, per the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The extradition of Michael Taylor, 60, a private security specialist and former Green Beret, and his son Peter Maxwell Taylor, 27, ends a months-long fight to remain in the U.S.

Rep. Rice demands Cuomo resign after 3rd woman accuses him of misconduct

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February news conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Monday evening called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign, after a third woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Driving the news: Anna Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden campaign, told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a New York City wedding reception in September 2019.

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