PR people and administrative assistants are top targets of cybercrooks, according to the latest Internet Security Threat Report issued by Symantec, the electronic information protection company in Silicon Valley.

cyberCybercriminals targets those people because they are viewed as stepping-stones toward top business executives, high-level government officials and Hollywood A-listers, said Kevin Haley, Symantec’s director for security response.

Symantec’s survey finds that criminals lurk in the shadows for many months before waiting to strike in an effort to pull off a jackpot heist, rather than a series of quick-hit smaller strikes. “One mega breach is worth 50 smaller attacks,” noted Haley.

There was a 62 percent increase in the number of data breaches in 2013 compared to the previous year. Those attacks resulted in more than 550M identities exposed.

Symantec recommends companies focus data protection measures on information, rather than a device or data center.

Symantec recommends companies educate staffers and implement security infrastructures with data loss prevention, encryption, robust authentication and defense measures including reputation-based technologies.

For consumers, Symantec says unique passwords should be created to each site they visit.

Edelman handles Symantec.