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Microsoft reveals organizations are leaving themselves exposed by not utilizing security tools

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Microsoft logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has released its Cyber Signals security brief.
  • It's designed to be a quarterly released resource for security officers to stay abreast of the field's latest developments.
  • It reveals that cyber threats are escalating and evolving at a dangerous pace compared to how fast organizations are adopting the latest security methods.

Microsoft has released Cyber Signals, a brief containing highlights of the current cybersecurity landscape that specialists in the sector need to know about. Cyber Signals is set to be a quarterly release that keeps people up to speed on the latest trends and observations from Microsoft.

February 2022's edition of Cyber Signals and its corresponding blog post (opens in new tab) feature worrisome observations from Microsoft, such as the fact that the company's research indicates that "across industries, only 22% of customers using Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Microsoft's Cloud Identity Solution, have implemented strong identity authentication protection as of December 2021." In other words, a lot of organizations aren't bothering to invest in passwordless security and multifactor authentication (MFA).

Microsoft routinely reports on cybercriminal schemes that rely on users not having MFA to protect themselves, including one particularly recent, sophisticated phishing campaign, so it may shock some people that those investing in Microsoft's solutions often aren't utilizing them to the fullest. Such findings have been observed within pools of Microsoft 365 users as well, wherein many of the tools MS365 provides are left unused by the customers paying for them.

The February 2022 Cyber Signals brief (opens in new tab) is relatively short (as evidenced by its classification as a brief), so security specialists will want to give it a quick skim to see if their actions qualify as a statistic in Microsoft's research. The write-up contains lots of cybercrime trivia that could be interesting even to those outside the security sector. For example, did you know that ransomware kits, on average, cost just $66 upfront? Details like that are plentiful in Microsoft's security-minded release.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.