Microsoft proud to have blocked nearly 71 billion cyberattacks in 2021 but is also worried

Microsoft Defender Antivirus logo blue on blue background

Microsoft today unveiled Cyber Signals, a new online cybersecurity magazine, sort of, that will contain the latest Microsoft research and data regarding various current cyber threats. The magazine will be released quarterly and in its announcement blog post, the firm has touted that it was able to prevent billions of cybersecurity threats last year using its solutions.

In total, Microsoft says it blocked nearly 71 billion cyberattacks in 2021 using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Microsoft Defender for Office 365, and Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD). The breakdown is given below:

  • Endpoint threats:
    • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint blocked more than 9.6 billion malware threats targeting enterprise and consumer customer devices, between January and December 2021.
  • E-mail threats:
    • Microsoft Defender for Office 365 blocked more than 35.7 billion phishing and other malicious e-mails targeting enterprise and consumer customers, between January and December 2021.
  • Identity threats:
    • Microsoft (Azure Active Directory) detected and blocked more than 25.6 billion attempts to hijack enterprise customer accounts by brute-forcing stolen passwords, between January and December 2021.

Microsoft, though, has also expressed concern over a very noticeable lack of adoption of techniques like multi-factor authentication and passwordless solutions. The company writes:

While threats have been rising fast over the past two years, there has been low adoption of strong identity authentication, such as multifactor authentication (MFA) and passwordless solutions. For example, our research shows that across industries, only 22 percent of customers using Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Microsoft’s Cloud Identity Solution, have implemented strong identity authentication protection as of December 2021.

You may find more details in the official blog post linked here.

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