2024 Data Breach Investigations Report

May 2, 2024

Greetings! Welcome to Verizon’s 2024 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). This year marks the 17th edition of this publication, and we are thrilled to welcome back our old friends and say hello to new readers. As always, the aim of the DBIR is to shine a light on the various Actor types, the tactics they utilize and the targets they choose. Thanks to our talented, generous and civic-minded contributors from around the world who continue to stick with us and share their data and insight, and deep appreciation for our very own Verizon Threat Research Advisory Center (VTRAC) team (rock stars that they are). These two groups enable us to examine and analyze relevant trends in cybercrime that play out on a global stage across organizations of all sizes and types.

From year to year, we see new and innovative attacks as well as variations on triedand- true attacks that still remain successful. From the exploitation of well-known and far-reaching zero-day vulnerabilities, such as the one that affected MOVEit, to the much more mundane but still incredibly effective Ransomware and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, criminals continue to do their utmost to prove the old adage “crime does not pay” wrong.

The shifting landscape of cyber threats can be confusing and overwhelming. When, in addition to the attack types mentioned above, one throws in factors such as the human element and/or poorly protected passwords, things become even more confused. One might be forgiven for viewing the current state of cybersecurity as a colorful cyber Mardi Gras parade. Enterprise floats of all shapes and sizes cruising past a large crowd of threat actors who are shouting out gleefully “Throw me some creds!” Of course, human nature being what it is, all too often, the folks on the floats do just that. And, as with all such parades, what is left in the aftermath isn’t necessarily pretty. The past year has been a busy one for cybercrime. We analyzed 30,458 real-world security incidents, of which 10,626 were confirmed data breaches (a record high!), with victims spanning 94 countries.

While the general structure of the report remains the same, long-time readers may notice a few changes. For example, the “first-time reader” section is now located in Appendix A rather than at the beginning of the report. But we do encourage those who are new to the DBIR to give it a read-through before diving into the report. It should help you get your bearings.

Last, but certainly not least, we extend a most sincere thanks yet again to our contributors (without whom we could not do this) and to our readers (without whom there would be no point in doing it).

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Cyberattacks, data breach