We’ve just witnessed an unprecedented year in cyber security, according to the Verizon Business 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (2022 DBIR). The year-over-year spike in ransomware attacks is greater than that of the past five years combined.

To underscore the point, it’s worth repeating – more ransomware attacks occurred in 2021 than across the past five prior years combined. Desktop sharing software contributed to 40% of ransomware incidents, while 35% of incidents involved email.

Verizon report findings

In spite of intense alerts and warnings, ransomware continues to ravage organizations, impacting the availability of critical data and assets. Making matters worse, ransomware proved present in nearly 70% of malware breaches, according to the report.

Ransomware breach report image 2022
Ransomware trends across time. Image courtesy of Verizon Data Breach Report 2022.

The report emphasized that ransomware is simply a way for hackers to profit from organizations. “It is ransomware that continues to prove particularly successful in exploiting and monetizing…information,” Verizon noted.

Beyond the overall increase in ransomware attacks, the report also revealed that 82% of cyber breaches occurred on account of “the human element.” In other words, social attacks, poor cyber hygiene and individual misuse of equipment helped to advance hacker capabilities.

The report also illustrated…

The report also illustrated how a single supply chain incident can result in subsequent downstream supply chain events. As many as 97% of firms have reported negative impact due to a supply chain security disruption.

Supply chain breaches beget further breaches. For hackers, compromising the right supplier is a force-multiplier. For organizations, the implications of this reality represent a source of serious cyber security anxiety. Find more of the latest supply chain and ransomware info here.


The 2022 DBIR report uncovered four common ‘avenues’ leading to an organization’s online estate.

All four are common pathways through which attackers attempt to destroy, disrupt or interrupt organizations for criminal gain. Says the report, no organization is safe without a strategy for protecting each avenue of attack.

Cyber crime growth

In general, Verizon notes that cyber crime continues to dominate the world of cyber security. A spike in attacks overall is attributed to heightened geopolitical tensions, critical issues exposed amidst the pandemic, and misconfigured cloud storage, among other elements.

Closing thoughts

“An important point for organizations is that attackers have repeatable processes for all of these methods of access. The attackers are efficient in these attacks, so we have to be efficient in our defenses” says Gabriel Basset, a senior information security data scientist on Verizon’s Security Research Team.

“As we continue to accelerate toward an increasingly digitized world, effective technological solutions, strong security frameworks and an increased focus on education will all play their part in ensuring that businesses remain secure and customers protected,” says Hans Vestberg, CEO and chairman of Verizon.

Discover expert insights concerning critical business issues and ransomware here, with Check Point Software’s VP of Security Engineering, Jeff Schwartz.

Get the full Verizon Business 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (2022 DBIR) here. Lastly, to receive cutting-edge cyber security news, exclusive interviews, expert analyses and security resources, please sign up for the CyberTalk.org newsletter.