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Action1 5 Blog 5 Verizon DBIR 2023: Strengthening Defenses against Stolen Credentials, Phishing, and Exploitations

Verizon DBIR 2023: Strengthening Defenses against Stolen Credentials, Phishing, and Exploitations

August 23, 2023

By Mike Walters

Verizon DBIR
Verizon’s Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR) is an annual must-read in the cybersecurity world, providing comprehensive insights into current trends and threat landscapes. The 2023 report, downloadable at, highlights that stolen credentials, phishing, and exploitation of vulnerabilities continue to be the top avenues for cybercriminals to infiltrate organizations.

Stolen Credentials

Stolen credentials provide a hacker with an open door into your organization. Strengthening this defense line involves a robust password policy, two-factor authentication, and regular password updates. These measures increase the difficulty for a cybercriminal to gain access through stolen or compromised credentials.


Phishing relies heavily on human interaction, making employee education vital. Regular training on recognizing phishing attempts, combined with robust email security solutions, can significantly reduce the risk of a successful phishing attack.

Exploitation of Vulnerabilities

Perhaps the most technologically involved avenue of attack, exploiting vulnerabilities requires a two-pronged approach: Effective vulnerability discovery and timely remediation.

Regular vulnerability scanning can identify weak points in your systems that could be exploited by attackers. However, identifying vulnerabilities is just the start. The critical next step is timely remediation – patching these vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. Coordinating your IT ops and IT security teams is essential for an effective remediation process.

In Closing

While all three areas deserve attention, the importance of dealing with vulnerabilities effectively cannot be understated. Remember, a vulnerability left unpatched is an open invitation for cybercriminals. By investing in regular vulnerability scanning and an effective remediation workflow, you can substantially reduce your risk of falling prey to data breaches. Let’s strengthen our defenses and safeguard our digital assets.

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