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One step ahead

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The recently released annual Digital Defense Report of tech giant Microsoft examined the evolving global threat landscape by looking at the most relevant and pressing cybersecurity issues.

Cybercriminals continue to act as sophisticated profit enterprises, it observed, noting how attackers are finding new ways to implement their techniques and increase the complexity of how and where they host campaign operation infrastructure.

It identified ransomware and phishing as the two most rampant forms of cyberattacks, amplified by activities that originate in a specific country with the apparent intent of furthering national interests.

Ransomware is a form of cyberattack that involves threatening the publication of the victim’s personal data if the ransom is not paid while phishing involves stealing user data such as passwords and credit card information.

Microsoft noted a 74 percent increase in the number of estimated password attacks per second over the last year, many of which were fueled by ransomware attacks. There has also been a steady year-on-year increase in phishing emails.

To minimize risks and losses, Microsoft stressed the need for governments and organizations to have a solid cyber resiliency foundation.

“Organizations need to develop a plan that focuses on minimizing the impact and improving recovery time against attacks. It is crucial for them to find the right technology to keep them protected and resilient,” Microsoft Asia-Pacific chief cybersecurity advisor Abbas Kudrati said.

It recommended the Philippine government to implement programs and initiatives to minimize cybersecurity threats, especially as it establishes stronger grounds for digitalization.

Microsoft recommended many programs to improve the country’s cybersecurity, and those are only the start, as it is always a technological footrace and strategic game of hide and seek between the cybercriminals and their intended victims.

It is up to government and the private sector to take heed and set up the defenses to try and stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.*

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