Data leaks from exposed credentials rise 50 percent

Credentials on sticky note

The number of major data leak incidents as a result of exposed credentials rose by 50 percent in 2021 according to a new report.

The 2021 industry report from CybelAngel finds data leaks are the most common digital risk faced by enterprise customers, with leaks overall showing a 63 percent year-on-year growth.

The pharma industry was worst hit with a whopping 948 percent increase in leaks -- possibly as a result of COVID hype. The finance sector is next with a 113 percent increase. Cloud storage leaks saw a 150 percent year-on-year increase overall and 500 percent in the pharma sector.

Among other findings, labor shortages among developers led to greater outsourcing and a 66 percent increase in source code leaks. The final quarter of 2021 saw a 117 percent jump in the number of GitHub incident reports sent. Again pharma and health are worst hit with a 316 percent increase in source code leaks. Interestingly banking and finance were the only industries to not see any increase in source code leaks.

Pauline Losson, cyber operations director at CybelAngel and head researcher on the report says, "The huge growth in cloud adoption and organisations' increasing reliance on outsourcing development work means that all risks are, in effect, moving to the cloud. The idea of securing the perimeter is no longer tenable. Organizations are facing systemic cyber risks, driven by sophisticated criminal groups exploiting the fact that external threats are reaching a level of unavoidable risk." 

You can read more and get the full report, with a quarter-by-quarter breakdown of threats across the year, on the CybelAngel blog.

Image credit: Georgy Timoshin / Shutterstock

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