Microsoft's new Cyber Signals brief offers some really interesting insights into current cybersecurity threats

Microsoft has launched Cyber Signals, a new intelligence brief that looks into the latest cyber security threats, tactics, and strategies. The brief is powered by Microsoft's own threat and data and research, and Microsoft hopes it could be useful for Chief Information Security Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Privacy Officers, and others in the industry (via Neowin.)

According to Microsoft's data, Cyber Signals pulls together insights from more than 24 million security signals. It also looks at intelligence from monitoring 40 nation-state groups and over 140 threat groups. Microsoft focused the first edition specifically on identity, as it believes that it is "the battleground for security."

Some big points in the latest Cyber Signals report include Microsoft seeing low adoption of strong identity authentication. This includes multifactor authentication and passwordless options like Microsoft Authenticator or Yubikey. We put together the highlights from the report below.

  • Only 22 percent of customers using Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Microsoft’s Cloud Identity Solution, have implemented strong identity authentication protection as of December 2021.
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint blocked more than 9.6 billion malware threats targetting enterprise and consumer customer devices
  • From January 2021 through December 2021, Microsoft blocked more than 25.6 billion Azure AD brute force authentication attacks and intercepted 35.7 billion phishing emails with Microsoft Defender for Office 365.

The full brief looks at how nation-state actors are using spear phishing, social engineering attacks to get passwords and other sensitive data. Types of Ransomware, and how they're used by various groups are also covered, and recommendations for how to stop it in time. Of course, Microsoft also chats with an expert in this brief. The first brief features Christopher Glyer, who is the principal threat intelligence lead at the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center.

You can learn more about these trends over on Microsoft's Security Blog. We also like to remind you that Microsoft Defender, which is an antivirus software built into Windows, is actually quite strong. It came out strong in an antivirus ranking when put up against McAfee, Norton, and even Kaspersky. There's no doubt that Microsoft takes cybersecurity quite seriously. It even recently exposed the UpdateAgent trojan in MacOS, talking about how it evolved, and how it could be patched and prevented.

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