Microsoft presented the results of the Digital Defense Report 2022, the annual report compiled by the company’s experts on major trends in cybersecurity. The report was released on November 4 and highlights the most recent evolutions in the context of cyber crimedefense and hybrid warfare.
The role of the states
At the center of the analysis are the cyber attacks coordinated by state actors. In this sense, an important factor to take into consideration is certainly the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the consequent outbreak of the conflict. THE NATO member countries were the goal dninety percent of the attacks carried out by Russian actors. In general, the attacks orchestrated by state entities have passed, within a year, twenty to forty percent of the total. This growth is due not only to Russia, but also to other countries, including Iran, North Korea and China. The latter has intensified attacks aimed at espionage and information theft conducted against targets in Southeast Asia (and more generally in the Global South), for expand your sphere of influence politics.
States not only engage in cyber attacks, but also in so-called “influence operations“, Campaigns of disinformation coordinated and aimed at guiding public opinion through distorted narratives. Again, an excellent example of this is provided by Russia’s behavior with respect to the ongoing conflict.
Cyber crime on the rise
The also grow criminal cyber activity. Compared to last year, cyber attacks conducted for steal or compromise passwords and believe them. The phishing has gained popularity: in the time horizon considered by the report, Microsoft reports that it has blocked more than sone hundred million phishing emails per week.
In addition, the attack ransomware and the sums requested as a ransom. In particular, the double extortion techniquewhich involves exfiltrating data from
compromised devices – encrypting data on devices – and the next publication (or threaten to publish) the data, to pressure the victim to pay the ransom.
As digital activity increased during the pandemic period, the vulnerability of many structures and organizations, having multiplied the points of access exploited by malicious actors. On average, Microsoft notes, a company owns more than tremila connected devices not protected by basic security solutions.
“Today the attacks are no longer just aimed at the individual citizen or at companies but rather to the same social and economic fabric – explained Carlo Mauceli, National Digital Officer of Microsoft Italy -. The new data from the Digital Defense Report instills a sense of urgency and we hope that every interlocutor is pushed to act immediately to improve their cyber-resilience. “