KnowBe4 Issues Alert: Breach Fatigue May Put Your Company at Risk for Ransomware

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KnowBe4 issues alert warning companies the increase in high profile data breaches may cause complacency and more trouble leading to increased risk of users falling for ransomware.

Worst US Data Breaches

Worst Data Breaches in US History

The increasing volume of customers affected by these data breaches may be causing a complacency that creates even more risk. -- Stu Sjouwerman, CEO KnowBe4

A growing number of high profile breaches may be causing breach fatigue, warned security company KnowBe4. In a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and reported by USA Today on Wednesday, September 24, a staggering 43% of companies have experienced a data breach in the past year, up by 10% over the year prior. The frequency of breaches may be making users somewhat jaded.

“The increasing volume of customers affected by these data breaches may be causing a complacency that creates even more risk,” says Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of Florida based security company KnowBe4. “For most companies, it is not a matter of if, but when, followed by a free year of credit monitoring. For users, the constant barrage of breach news can cloud their awareness of cyber-threats as it all becomes background noise.”

This leads to more careless attitude on the part of users which can carry over into business environments and cause users to be more prone to be hacked, spear-phished and/or social engineered.

According to Michael Bruemmer, vice president of the credit information company Experian's data breach resolution group which sponsored the Ponemon study, 80% of the breaches his group works with "had a root cause in employee negligence." He stated “It could be from someone giving out their password, someone being spear-phished, it could be a lost USB, it could be somebody mishandling files, it could be leaving the door to the network operations center open so someone can walk in."

Sjouwerman said; “Our highly effective security awareness training program combines training with anti-phishing software to mitigate risks from social engineering. We help IT managers keep users on their toes with security top of mind through the use of set-it-and-forget-it phishing tools, allowing IT to focus on daily challenges while still keeping security a priority.”

Eastern Europeans are usually involved in hacks and phishing scams. According to Sjouwerman, “The rule of thumb is If they are after money, its eastern European or Russian in origin. Ransomware has been one of the top vehicles used by these cyber gangs to gain a foothold and use of ransomware has led to millions in profits for their criminal perpetrators.

KnowBe4 is offering a whitepaper on where ransomware came from and what you can do about it entitled A Short History of Ransomware: Your Money or Your Files at

For more information visit

About Stu Sjouwerman and KnowBe4
Stu Sjouwerman (pronounced “shower-man”) is the founder and CEO of KnowBe4, LLC, which provides web-based Security Awareness Training (employee security education and behavior management) to small and medium-sized enterprises. A data security expert with more than 30 years in the IT industry, Sjouwerman was the co-founder of Inc. 500 company Sunbelt Software, an award-winning anti-malware software company that he and his partner sold to GFI Software in 2010. Realizing that the human element of security was being seriously neglected, Sjouwerman decided to help entrepreneurs tackle cybercrime tactics through advanced security awareness training. KnowBe4 services hundreds of customers in a variety of industries, including highly-regulated fields such as healthcare, finance and insurance and is experiencing explosive growth with a surge of 427% in 2013 alone. Sjouwerman is the author of four books, with his latest being Cyberheist: The Biggest Financial Threat Facing American Businesses.

About Kevin Mitnick
Kevin Mitnick is an internationally recognized computer security expert with extensive experience in exposing the vulnerabilities of complex operating systems and telecommunications devices. He gained notoriety as a highly skilled hacker who penetrated some of the most resilient computer systems ever developed. Today, Mitnick is renowned as an information security consultant and speaker, and has authored three books, including The New York Times best seller Ghost in the Wires. His latest endeavor is a collaboration with KnowBe4, LLC.

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Kathy Wattman
KnowBe4, LLC
+1 (727) 474-9950
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