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Verizon Study Links External Hacks to Internal Mistakes

11:05 AM

By Tim Wilson
Site Editor, Dark Reading

Does your company's greatest security risk come from inside or outside the organization? After years of debate, experts may have finally found an answer: It's a deadly combination of both.

A study published yesterday by Verizon Business offers a new look at one of security's oldest problems and arrives at a new conclusion: While most breaches are executed by external attackers, the attacks are usually facilitated by security failures that were overlooked by internal staff, often for a long period of time.

In the study, which was generated by analyzing data from more than 500 forensic investigations conducted between 2004 and 2007, Verizon reports that 73 percent of data breaches resulted from external sources. This includes breaches caused by business partners, a source of vulnerability that increased fivefold during the study. Only 18 percent of breaches were caused by insiders.

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