Trends in Cybersecurity Breaches Continue in 2019

An expanded version of this article was first available through Accounting Quality Insights, powered by Audit Analytics, via Bloomberg, Refinitiv Eikon, FactSet and S&P Global. Contact us for the full article.

During the week of October 14, 2019, two companies disclosed that they fell victim to malware attacks: Pitney Bowes Inc [PBI] and Ingredion Incorporated [INGR]. In light of the two disclosed malware incidents, Audit Analytics reviewed cybersecurity breach disclosure trends throughout 2019 so far.

The number of organizations experiencing cyber-attacks has grown rapidly; over 120 cybersecurity incidents were disclosed in 2018 and 93 have been disclosed so far in 2019. The proliferation of cyber breaches can be attributed to several factors, primarily that more companies are using more computer systems for more tasks.

Based on current disclosure trends in cybersecurity attacks, it seems likely that 2019 will see numbers similar to 2018. In 2018, there were 93 cybersecurity attacks disclosed between January 1 and September 30, comprising 72% of all cybersecurity breaches disclosed during the year.

Companies, particularly retailers, are notoriously vulnerable to cyber-attacks during the busy winter holiday shopping period – think Target’s cyber breach that occurred around Thanksgiving 2013 – making it likely that the trends seen so far in 2019 will continue into 2020.

Audit Analytics collects disclosures from all public company cyber breaches, covering 2010 – present.
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