Last week, IBM published its X-Force Threat Intelligence Index (Index), which summarizes the state of leaked records and vulnerabilities to data in 2016. It is depressing, but informative.

The Index notes that the number of compromised records “grew a historic 566 percent in 2016 from 600 million to more than 4 billion.” Billion with a “b.” The records included credit cards and debit cards, passwords and protected health information—the usual.

But significantly, the Index found that cybercriminals are getting more creative in their strategies and are now focusing on unstructured data including email archives, business documents, source code and intellectual property. According to the Index, it shows that unstructured data is being targeted and hackers will “monetize it this year in new ways.”

Some important takeaways from the Index include:

  • Ransomware attached to spam emails increased 400 percent in 2016 (netting the attackers over $1 billion
  • The Financial Services industry suffered the most cyber-attacks in 2016
  • Information and communication services companies and government had the highest number of records breached in 2016
  • The most popular types of infection included Android malware, banking Trojans, ransomware and DDoS-as-a-service vendors
  • The health care industry is still getting hit with a large number of attacks, but the attackers are focusing more on smaller targets now.

The Index is always a worthwhile and informative read, and this year’s is no exception.