A new report from telecommunications firm Verizon analyzes data breaches the company has analyzed across multiple industries during paid external forensic investigations.

That data includes investigations of 60 health care breaches that occurred during the past two years, the bulk of which occurred in outpatient facilities.

Verizon found most breaches were caused by financially motivated organized crime groups “which typically attack smaller, low-risk targets to obtain personal and payment data for various fraud schemes,” according to the report.

Most of the attacks involve hacking and malware, with a focus on point-of-sale systems. These can be prevented by changing administrative passwords on POS systems, implementing a firewall, avoiding using the POS to browse the Web, and making sure the devices are Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard compliant.

The Verizon report also gives a primer on various types of attacks, with descriptions of how attacks work, ways to indicate the presence of an attack and how to mitigate them. The types of attacks covered include hacking, malware, physical tampering, keylogger/form-grabber/spyware, pretexting (social engineering), brute-force attack, SQL injection, unauthorized access via default credentials, and phishing with its endless variations.

The Data Breach Investigations Report is available here.

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