Microsoft’s new focus on cybersecurity

After the financial success of Microsoft in the past fiscal year, Satya Nadella has announced Microsoft is shifting focus to cybersecurity. This announcement follows last year’s declaration of the so-called Secure Future Initiative.

Why the concern?

Microsoft has recently been grappling with a series of cyberattacks – largely highly advanced state-sponsored attacks looking to compromise information rather than the more typical financially-driven attacks which fill the news.

As a response, we are seeing greater focus on the topic once more. The software giant is quick to point out that a vast majority of cybercrime can be easily prevented with modern defenses and preventative measures. At the same time, however, the threats are by necessity becoming more complex and sophisticated. State-sponsored groups and ransomware-as-a-service gangs are moving in where increased barriers to entry have shut down smaller criminals.

Since September 2022, we estimate that ransomware attempts have increased by more than 200%

What comes next?

While the current focus on cybersecurity shows that the threat is still serious, there is good news; as Microsoft stressed in their Microsoft Digital Defense Report 2023 (MDDR), the vast majority of attacks can be mitigated of completely prevented by exercising best practices and security hygiene. In particular, they recommend:

  • Enabling multifactor authentication
  • Applying Zero Trust principles
  • Keeping software up-to-date
  • Protecting internal data

A plurality of companies continues to expose themselves to risk by not following these best practices – including keeping out of date software running out of a sense of false economy, or failing to sufficiently safeguard internal data using archives and properly implemented backups. While these soft targets exist, we will continue to see cybercrime numbers grow or stay at current levels.


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by Matúš Koronthály