Cyber Signals: Microsoft’s intelligence brief on defending against cyber threats

Cyber Signals aggregates Microsoft’s insights from their research and security teams on the frontlines

Microsoft is excited to introduce Cyber Signals, a cyber threat intelligence brief informed by the latest Microsoft threat data and research. This content, which will be released quarterly, offers an expert perspective into the current threat landscape, discussing trending tactics, techniques, and strategies used by the world’s most prolific threat actors. As such, Microsoft hopes it will be a valuable resource to Chief Information Security Officers, Chief Information Officers, Chief Privacy Officers, and their teams, as they continue to evolve technologies, policies, and processes against the constantly changing threat landscape. Microsoft believes that security is a team sport and that when everyone shares what they are learning, everyone can make the world a safer place.

Cyber Signals aggregates insights the company sees from their research and security teams on the frontlines. This includes analysis from 24 trillion security signals combined with intelligence tracked by monitoring more than 40 nation-state groups and over 140 threat groups. In the first edition, the brief will unpack the topic of identity. Everyone’s identities is made up of everything one says and do, recorded as data that spans across a sea of apps and services. While this delivers great utility, if good security hygiene is not maintained, one’s identities are at risk. And over the last year, Microsoft has seen identity become the battleground for security.

While threats have been rising fast over the past two years, there has been low adoption of strong identity authentication, such as multifactor authentication (MFA) and passwordless solutions. For example, research shows that across industries, 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. MFA and passwordless solutions can go a long way in preventing a variety of threats and Microsoft committed to educating customers on solutions such as these to better protect themselves. From January 2021 through December 2021, the company has 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.

With 8,500 security defenders protecting the platforms, tools, services, and endpoints that support our online lives, the company is dedicated to thwarting advanced cyberattacks. Microsoft understands their role in helping to protect and defend one’s most valuable digital asset, identity. To ensure people are who they say they are when they access Microsoft accounts and services, Microsoft verifies their identitybut relying on a single password to authenticate users creates an attractive point of failure for hackers.

Online threats are increasing in volume, velocity, and sophistication. From IoT to nation-state activity, new ransomware tactics to insights into the cybercriminal economy, Cyber Signals provides trend analysis and practical guidance to strengthen the first line of digital defense. With increasing numbers of people working remotely and accessing their business apps and data from multiple locations, including home offices, coworking spaces, and other remote locations, individuals are realizing the importance of secure authentication. And it is not just about securing enterprises, one’s personal data, devices, identities, platforms, and clouds are also targets.