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A person types on a laptop in Miami. Photo: Wilfredo Lee / AP

More businesses are detecting breaches internally, and they’re doing it faster than before, according to CrowdStrike’s Cyber Intrusion Services Casebook of 2017, which analyzes the businesses the cybersecurity technology company worked with this year.

Why it matters: The most visible news about breaches is likely going to be about those businesses that are caught off guard — but that may not be representative of the majority of breaches businesses are dealing with. Per CrowdStrike, this shows companies are improving their security hygiene practices and investing in resources to better detect attacks.

The analysis shows:

  • 68% of businesses were able to internally identify a breach in 2017, up 11% over the year before.
  • The average number of days between the first evidence of an attack and initial detection was about 86 days. “That continues to tick down year over year,” Bryan York, CrowdStrike’s director of services, told Axios.
  • The majority (66%) of hacks are malware-free attacks — for example, spear phishing to gain logins and passwords.
  • Ransomware and destructive malware hacks are increasingly employing methods that are self-propagating, meaning they don’t require human interaction or clicking to spread through systems. York suggests segmenting privileges in systems so that propagation is more difficult, but noted “when it comes to preventing this there’s no magic bullet.”

Go deeper

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.

The deplatforming fight shifts to the courts

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Capitol riot and tech firms' sweeping attempt in its wake to dislodge the online far right are kicking up efforts to have the courts settle knotty questions about online speech and power.

Why it matters: Legal battles could force the people angry at Big Tech to bring more rigor to arguments that have often devolved into messy sideshows.

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