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Cyber Incident & Breach Response

Cyber Incident & Breach Trends Report (released January 25, 2018)

Data Protection & Privacy Day Press Release (January 25, 2018)

2017 Cyber Incident & Breach Readiness Guide (PDF) - For nearly a decade OTA has published a Breach Readiness Guide to help organizations enhance data protection and prepare for a breach incident. Reflecting the evolution of cybercrime beyond the traditional breach, the 2017 Guide has been broadened to  include the wider impact of cyber incidents.  

2017 Incident Overview & Resources (PDF)

Briefing Deck (PDF - Feb 7)

Recorded Webinar (Feb 7)

Congressional Briefing Presentation (PDF - Jan 31)

Data Protection & Privacy Day Press Release

OTA’s analysis and tracking of threat intelligence data has revealed the true number of incidents is over twenty times that of consumer data breaches publically reported. Based on preliminary year-end data, over 82,000 incidents were documented impacting more than 225 organizations daily. As the majority of incidents are never reported the actual number of incidents causing harm combining all vectors including DDoS attacks could exceed 250,000. As defined by OTA incidents include unauthorized; 1) access to a system or device and its data,  2) extraction, deletion or damage to any form of data,  3) disruption of availability and/or integrity of any business operation, and/or 4) activities causing financial or reputational harm. 

2016 Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide 
Updated to include year-end data, additional international regulatory information and expanded discussion on cyber insurance.

Recorded Webinar / Briefing (2016)

Overview Briefing Deck (PDF, 2016)

IoT Security & Privacy Best Practices 

2016 Data Privacy/Breach Readiness Guide Press Release

2015 Data Privacy Day Video Highlights including fireside chat with FTC Commissioner McSweeney.   Panel Security & Privacy Beyond Your Walls & Summary Tim Rohrbaugh, CISO Identity Guard; Josh Aberant, Postmaster, Twitter; Chris Babel, CEO, TRUSTe and Tim Fitzgerald, VP and Chief Security Officer, Symantec. Includes Town Hall wrap up by Craig Spiezle, Executive Director, Online Trust Alliance. 


The OTA Data Protection & Breach Readiness Guide has been developed to help organizations of all sizes in both the public and private sector. Content has been included to help aid a broad range of stakeholders ranging from business and technical decision makers and privacy and security professionals to web and app developers. The goal is to help readers better understand the issues and solutions which can enhance their data protection practices and enable them to develop readiness plans in the event they incur a data loss incident.  See Security Best Practices

Even the most cyber-savvy organizations have found themselves exposed and ill prepared to manage the effects of a data breach. The best defense is implementing a broad set of operational and technical best practices that helps protect your company and your customers’ personal data. The second step is to be prepared with a data lifecycle plan that allows a company to respond with immediacy. Ultimately, industry needs to understand that effectively handling a breach is a shared responsibility of every functional group within the organization. A key to success is moving from a compliance perspective to one of stewardship. This perspective recognizes the long term impact to a brand, the importance of consumer trust and implications and considerations with vendors and business partners.


Online Trust Alliance Reports Doubling of Cyber Incidents in 2017

Thu, Jan 25, 2018

Reston, VA – The Online Trust Alliance (OTA), an Internet Society initiative with the mission to enhance online trust, today released its Cyber Incident & Breach Trends Report. OTA’s annual analysis found that cyber incidents targeting businesses nearly doubled from 82,000 in 2016 to 159,700 in 2017. Since the majority of cyber incidents are never reported, OTA believes the actual number in 2017 could easily exceed 350,000.

Feb 14, 2018
The Guardian

The world recorded over 160,000 security breaches, data thefts, and disruption of business operations, and a host of others in 2017 according to the 10th yearly cyber incident and breach trends report of the Online Trust Alliance (OTA). "Because organisations are shifting more workloads to the cloud -and many breaches involved cloud providers, it urges them to follow best practices, such as auditing

Jan 28, 2018
SC Media

Out of nearly 160,000 reported cyber incidents affecting businesses in 2017, 93 percent could have been prevented by following basic security measures such as regularly updating software, blocking fake email messages, using email authentication, and training employees, a new report claims.

Jan 26, 2018
MIT Technology Review

A report by the Online Trust Alliance says that the number of reported cyber incidents, from ransomware attacks to e-mail hacks, doubled to 159,700 last year.

What to do: OTA says that 93 percent of attacks reported were avoidable. “Equipping [users] to make good decisions can go a long way toward securing systems,” it adds.

Jan 26, 2018

Companies around the world suffered nearly 160,000 cyberattacks and data breaches last year, despite the fact that a majority of them were avoidable, according to researchers. “Even organizations with substantial resources and expertise in data and technology can find themselves inappropriately defended and unprepared,” the report said.

Jan 25, 2018

The number of cyber incidents globally doubled to 159,700 last year, according to the Online Trust Alliance’s (OTA) Cyber Incident & Breach Trends Report released Thursday. Why it matters: Given "that most incidents are not reported, this number could easily exceed 350,000," Jeff Wilbur, director of the OTA initiative at the Internet Society writes.

Jan 25, 2018
The Hill

The Online Trust Alliance released its annual analysis of cyber incidents and breach trends on Thursday, finding that the number of cyber incidents targeting businesses almost doubled from 2016 to 2017, largely driven by the rapid rise in ransomware.

Jan 25, 2018
IT World Canada

There may have been as many as 160,000 breaches of security controls, data thefts or disruption of business operations last year around the world, most of which could have been easily prevented, an industry group estimates.

Jan 25, 2018

Cyber incidents targeting businesses nearly doubled in 2017 compared to 2016, totaling 159,700, according to a reportout this morning from the Online Trust Alliance. The big reason? Ransomware, the organization concluded. 

Jan 25, 2018

Businesses beware: Cyberattacks targeting businesses nearly doubled in the past year, from 82,000 in 2016 to 159,700 in 2017, according to a Thursday report from the Online Trust Alliance (OTA). This further highlights the need for enterprises to implement proper cyber hygiene practices and employee training to keep critical business systems and data secure. 

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