Research by Verizon found ransomware breaches increased 13 per cent in the year to end-October 2021, larger than the previous five years combined, with staff the weakest link in organisations’ cybersecurity set-ups.

The Verizon Business 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report found 25 per cent of a total of 5,212 breaches were the result of social engineering attacks.

Combining human errors with misuse of privileges, the human element accounted for 82 per cent of the breaches, Verizon stated.

Organised crime was a pervasive factor across global cybersecurity efforts, accounting for around four out of five breaches.

Heightened geopolitical tensions also led to increased sophistication, visibility and awareness around nation-state affiliated cyberattacks.

Verizon also highlighted cybersecurity issues related to supply chain constraints, with 62 per cent of system intrusion incidents coming through an organisation’s partner.