Verizon Threat Research Advisory Center (VTRAC) celebrates 20th anniversary
NEW YORK – Cybersecurity Awareness Month kicks off next week, and with the continued rise in cyberthreats worldwide, for businesses to help protect their assets, they need a fail-proof security architecture, and the expert insights and partner to help stay ahead of bad actors. For the past two decades the Verizon Threat Research Center (VTRAC), a specialized division within the company’s cyber security consulting organization, celebrating 20 years, has been at the forefront in the battle against cyberthreat actors.
VTRAC was established in 2003 with the mission to help organizations build thorough and effective incident response plans. The organization has expanded over the course of its history to 200+ VTRAC team members in over 150 countries, including investigators, forensic lab technicians, intelligence analysts and data scientists. Members are professionals with military, law enforcement and/or IT expertise who are well-versed in criminal and civil investigative requirements.
“Though much has changed in the field of cybersecurity in the last 20 years, VTRAC’s mission remains the same: Help our customers regain control of compromised assets and defend against data breaches within their networks,” said Chris Novak, Managing Director of the Verizon Threat Research Advisory Center.
The visibility that Verizon’s network provides is striking, with more than 600 incidents investigated and more than 29 trillion raw logs analyzed last year. VTRAC boasts six global digital forensic laboratories and nine security operation centers across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“Having a global presence and drawing from a breadth of experience across sectors gives VTRAC a fuller understanding of today’s security threats,” said Novak, “Cyber threats vary across industries as do the regulatory and compliance challenges in different countries. Knowing how those components interweave is critical to staying on top of evolving threats that are global in nature.”
VTRAC’s capabilities have expanded over the years to match the advancements in technology, the rise of connected devices and the ability of cybercriminals to access sensitive data. Today, those services include digital forensics, breach investigations, incident response, penetration testing, red teaming, network security and payment security. The division also tackles tricky governance, risk and compliance issues, and engages in deep and dark web hunting.
“Twenty years ago, IoT devices didn’t truly exist,” said Novak. “We had to do our work on-site in physical environments, which drew out the process and limited our visibility. Today, the average home has almost two dozen IoT devices. It’s about speed and intelligence. You want to catch incidents before they become larger events, and you want to use your analytics to anticipate and thwart future threats.”
VTRAC also supports customers and the broader business community in their cybersecurity journey by providing valuable insights for business and government operations and fellow cybersecurity industry leaders. Its flagship report, the Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), now in its 16th year, has become a go-to authority on the state of cybersecurity globally. Other key reports produced on a regular basis for industry leaders are the Payments Security Report and the Mobile Security Report, among others.
For Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the VTRAC team has authored “Patch Me If You Can,” a series of six blog posts on the many cybersecurity threats and prevention methods in six different industries:
Media and Entertainment
Small to Midsize Businesses
“A big part of defending against cyber attacks is being aware of the threats,” said Center for Internet Security Executive Vice President & General Manager, Security Best Practices, Curtis Dukes. “We take advantage of our network’s broad visibility to conduct research from which we glean insights that we turn into reports, articles and other content. Our aim is to give our customers and other businesses a clear view of the threats they face and a blueprint of how to prepare and respond.”
VTRAC is a globally approved PCI Forensic Investigator (PFI) with more than 300 cybersecurity certifications. For more information on VTRAC, visit