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Verizon annual cybersecurity report: 'The bad guys are winning'

It's not just your imagination. It's getting uglier out there in cybersecurity land. 

The latest grim picture comes courtesy of Verizon's 2014 Data Breach Investigations Report. Scheduled to be publicly released Wednesday, the report taps information from more than 50 organizations around the world to analyze more than 63,000 security incidents and 1,300 confirmed breaches.

Amid the onslaught of breaches and statistics, the report also tries to offer some hope that organizations such as Verizon are starting to better leverage information about cyberattacks to craft strategies to fight back.

"After analyzing 10 years of data, we realize most organizations cannot keep up with cybercrime – and the bad guys are winning," said Wade Baker, principal author of the Data Breach Investigations Report series, in a statement. "But by applying big data analytics to security risk management, we can begin to bend the curve and combat cybercrime more effectively and strategically." 

This year's report says that 97% of attacks fall into nine categories, including denial of service attacks, cyberespionage and point-of-sale intrusions. 

Because each report includes more sources of information than the year before, it doesn't serve as a benchmark as to how much cybercrime is increasing each year. Instead, it serves as an overview as to what types of hacking methods are being used and who is being attacked. 

One particularly alarming development this year comes in a chart that compares the amount of time it takes on average for someone to hack into a network compared to the amount of time it takes to detect that intrusion. While hackers are taking less time to gain entry, it's taking organizations longer to spot them. 

"The bad guys are getting in really fast," said Chris Porter of Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "And the good guys are only detecting that some of the time. That's probably one of the most sobering charts in the report. It really shows the gap between our detection capability. We need to figure out how to detect things faster."

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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