Security Assessment Tool for Public Administration

Public Administration



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  • The Public Administration sector accounted for a large number of security incidents but a relatively small number of data breaches, since they were run of the mill malware infections or minor policy violations that don’t compromise confidential data.

  • Total incidents


    The number of security incidents (Nov 2018 to Oct 2019) analyzed in this sector in the 2020 DBIR.

  • Top three patterns

    Miscellaneous Errors 

    Web Applications 

    Everything Else 

    The top trends that emerged from this sector’s data (Nov 2018 to Oct 2019) in the 2020 DBIR.

  • Threat actors 

    59% External 

    59 percent

    43% Internal 

    43 percent

    2% Multiple 

    2 percent

    1% Partner 

    1 percent

  • Actor motives 

    75% Financial 

    75 percent

    19% Espionage 

    19 percent

    3% Fun 


  • Data compromised 

    51% Personal 

    51 percent

    34% Other 

    34 percent

    33% Credentials 

    33 percent

    14% Internal 

    14 percent


  • Ransomware: a perennial threat

    Ransomware attacks are by far the most common, accounting for 61% of malware cases. The malware is most commonly downloaded either by other malware, or is directly installed by the attacker after gaining access. An attack is considered an integrity breach when the software is installed, and becomes an availability breach when the victim’s system is encrypted.

  • Small mistakes can mean big consequences

    The most common errors in this sector happened through two types of breaches—Misdelivery, when mass emails or paper mailings are sent to the wrong recipients, or through Misconfiguration, when someone puts data in the cloud without appropriate security measures.


  • A change in attack patterns

    After Miscellaneous Errors like Misconfigurations and Misdeliveries, the next top patterns this year were Web Application attacks and the “Everything Else” pattern—which includes attacks that don’t fit within other categories. Encouragingly, two of last year’s top patterns, Cyber-Espionage and Privilege Misuse, both saw decreases.

  • See the latest trends in cybersecurity.


    Explore the results of the 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) and see what patterns emerged across the thousands of security incidents, from companies both big and small.


    See an overview of all trends

Read specific insights about your industry

  • 2020 dbir cover
  • Understanding the threats can help manage risk effectively

    The threats are real, the attackers motivated. But something stands between them and your organizations data: you and your security teams, with the insight, perspective, and tools to take action. You'll find that all right here.

    Download the report