The ‘Anatomy of a modern surface attack’ report from Microsoft discusses the increasing complexity of cybersecurity in the increasingly digital and connected world. As organisations shift more of their infrastructure, data, and applications to the cloud, and expand remote work and third-party interactions, the environment that security teams need to defend has become more dynamic and exposed to a larger set of attack surfaces.
Threat actors are exploiting the gaps in organisations' defences and permissions to launch persistent, high-volume attacks that are often multi-faceted, affecting various aspects of an organisation’s operations and infrastructure. The sophistication of these attackers is growing, with more coordination across the cybercrime-as-a-service landscape. In 2022, Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit blocked 2.75 million site registrations to pre-empt potential cybercrime activities.
To cope with these threats, organisations must secure all main attack surfaces such as email, identity, endpoint, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, and external attack surfaces. A weak point in any of these areas can be exploited by attackers, who are becoming more adept at identifying these vulnerabilities. However, the report highlights that basic security measures can still prevent 98% of cyberattacks.
Essential to good security hygiene is end-to-end visibility of threats, provided by comprehensive threat intelligence. This enables security teams to stay ahead of emerging threats and continually improve their defences. It also aids in understanding and preventing repeat attacks when threat actors breach the defences.
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