The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report had been an essential tool in the world of cybersecurity before the company decided to drop it in 2018. As new and more sophisticated malware has continued to appear, the Redmond giant has decided to bring the report back in the form of the Microsoft Digital Defense Report.
With deep access to the world of server, enterprise, cloud and desktop systems, Microsoft has been able to develop a great report which contains data collected between July 2019 and June 2020, reaching 88 pages in length.
Cybercrime is on the rise
Some cybercrime groups have harnessed fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic to spread malware, but such operations played a minor role throughout the year. Email phishing remains an essential infection vector in the case of attacks that target the enterprise sector, with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, UPS and Zoom being the favorites for spoofing.
According to the Redmond titan, more than 13 billion malicious or suspicious emails were blocked in 2019. At least one billion contained a modified URL payload, which served as the base for a phishing attack.
Ransomware groups have also started to favor methods that are more sophisticated and harder to track down. Groups which specifically target networks tied to major corporations or organizations pose higher risks, since they are willing to work very hard so they can obtain a huge ransom from scared employees or politicians who wish to solve issues as fast as possible.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been quite beneficial for ransomware groups as they have managed to boost the pace at which a system is infected and locked while victims also seem to be more willing to pay the ransom. In some cases, the entire process took less than 45 minutes.
Those who wish to learn more can download the report for free from the official Microsoft website.
Willie Hahn, senior editor at The Trending Times, writes about the intersection between money and politics with a focus on lobbying and tech articles. Willie previously at the Android Authority and Vice. Willie can be reached by email.