Byron Acohido provides a write-up of some of the TJX and Heartland Payment Systems incidents that emphasizes the point that many hacks go undetected or unnoticed — and that cyberthieves often take considerable time to start and continue stealing data:
Companies, understandably, rarely discuss data breaches. However, proof that data thieves are targeting hundreds of organizations using similar approaches to breach networks comes from Verizon Business, a division of Verizon Communications that sells consulting services to other corporations. Since 2004, Verizon has dispatched forensic specialists to conduct CSI-like probes of nearly 600 cases of corporate data theft.
In the vast majority of those cases, investigators discovered thieves routinely took days after initially penetrating a network to locate and break into valuable databases. And most often, the intruders spent weeks to years extracting data before being discovered.
“It’s one of the more shocking statistics we’ve run across,” says Verizon principal researcher Wade Baker. “The length of time it takes an organization to discover that data is leaving is often five to six months” after the initial breach.
That pattern suggests “many organizations right now have breaches they don’t know about and won’t discover for some time to come,” says Baker.
Read more on USA Today.