More than half of all cyber attacks involving states, 58 percent, were carried out in Russia last year, according to Microsoft’s latest annual Digital Defense Report. However, most cyber-attacks are not perpetrated by states, but by ordinary cybercriminals, who mostly want money from their victims rather than information, so they most often attack players in the retail and financial sectors. According to Microsoft, 99 percent of the attacks known today could be repelled by simple, often free-of-charge methods, yet less than 20 percent of its customers use even a well-proven defense tool such as multi-factor authentication
More than half, 58 percent, of cyber attacks originated in Russia in the past one year (July 2020 – June 2021), according to a Digital Defense Report prepared and published annually by Microsoft. The Russians have targeted government agencies in the United States, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, with increasing results, up from 32 percent last year to 32 percent in a year.
Attacks by state actors its targets were mostly government bodies in other countries (48%), advisers (31%), and their goal was to obtain valuable information. Nevertheless, even their targets were ordinary citizens in nearly a quarter of cases (21%). Of course, it was not just Russia that was active in cybercrime: the governments of North Korea, Iran, China, South Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam could also be guessed behind many attacks. In the last three years, Microsoft has warned governments a total of 20,500 times that other governments are trying to obtain data from them by hacking into their IT systems. , but focused on making money, accordingly retail trade was the most targeted (13%), followed by financial services (12%), manufacturing (12%), government agencies (11%) and healthcare (9%). . Most cyber attacks have suffered from U.S. users, almost three times what users in the next country, China. They were followed by citizens and organizations from Japan, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates. malicious software that also uses specialized, automated processes. They sell stolen credentials even at lower prices of a few dollars. Extortionist viruses used by criminals are currently the biggest threat to users.
Viruses are becoming more sophisticated and numerous, and Microsoft warns individuals and organizations to strengthen at least the first line of defense. me. One such key measure is the introduction of multi-factor authentication, which is used by less than 20 percent of Microsoft customers. By simply starting to use multi-factor authentication, anti-virus software, and constantly updating their systems to the latest version, 99 percent of the attacks known today can be repelled. The good news is that the number of companies using strong customer identification has increased 220 percent in the last 18 months. While many people start using these solutions because they are aware of the threat or because they have previously been the victims of a cyber attack, proliferation is also encouraged by legislation that, for example, requires attacks to be reported.
“The trend is clear: states are increasingly turning to the cyber-attack tool to achieve their policy goals. We predict that even more states will use various malicious software for hostile purposes in the future, and their effectiveness will also improve. The cybercrime market will also continue to develop while “Of course, the effectiveness of virus protection will also improve. At present, this protection requires a lot of resources, so it is important that the public pays attention to this work and that decision-makers support these efforts, especially now in the European Cyber Security Month,” said Christopher Mattheisen. Managing Director of Microsoft Hungary
The full Microsoft research in English can be read at this link, and details of the cyber security regional survey commissioned by Microsoft last fall are available in Hungarian
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