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Food and Beverage Industry Most at Risk for Cyber Attack

March 23, 2012

Any business is vulnerable to a data breach. However, for the second year in a row, the information security firm Trustwave has found companies in the food and beverage industry are the most at risk from cybercriminals.

Why? According to the newly released Trustwave 2012 Global Security Report, industries with franchise and chain store models are top targets primarily because franchises often use the same IT systems across stores. Once cybercriminals compromise a system in one location, they likely can duplicate the attack in multiple locations. In fact, more than one third of Trustwave SpiderLabs 2011 investigations occurred in a franchise business, and the report predicts this number will rise in 2012.

Here are a few more key findings from the 2012 report:

  • Data breaches are on the rise. Trustwave performed 42 percent more investigations in 2011 than in the previous year – conducting more than 300 data breach investigations in 18 countries worldwide.
  • Cybercriminals crave customer records. A whopping 89 percent of data breach investigations involved customer records. While trade secrets or intellectual property followed at a distant six percent, Trustwave cautions that highly targeted attacks designed to go after that type of data remain a growing concern, as their success rate is extremely high.
  • Weak passwords put your business at risk. After analyzing the usage and weakness trends of more than 2 million business passwords, Trustwave found that the most common password used by global businesses is “Password1” as it satisfies the default Microsoft Active Directory complexity setting.
  • Morning email can be risky. An email with a malicious attachment is most likely to arrive in your inbox at  8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Time, US).

“Any organization can be a target, but as detailed in our report findings, those most susceptible are businesses that maintain customer records or that consumers frequent most, including restaurants, retail stores and hotels,” said Nicholas J. Percoco, senior vice president and head of Trustwave SpiderLabs. “We advise organizations review our strategic recommendations for 2012 and take steps toward employing better security across their organizations.”

Those strategic recommendations are available in this press release, and you can download the full Trustwave 2012 Global Security Report here.

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