Microsoft announces new products and guidance for enhanced security in hybrid work environments

Microsoft Corp. has announced new products, employee plans, and guidance to tackle the global fight against increasingly large-scale and complex cyberattacks. These include additional support on multifactor authentication (MFA) and security protection for customers, along with Microsoft’s own transition of having employees adopt a Zero Trust approach.

The cybersecurity landscape has fundamentally changed due to large-scale, complex attacks in recent times. Hackers launch an average of 50 million password attacks every day—579 per second, and phishing attacks have increased. Firmware attacks are on the rise, and ransomware has become incredibly problematic. Microsoft had intercepted and thwarted a record-breaking 30 billion email threats last year and is currently actively tracking 40 plus active nation-state actors and over 140 threat groups representing 20 countries.

According to Microsoft Defender Antivirus’ telemetry, malware encounter rates in Asia Pacific have increased – 23% in Australia; 80% in China; 15% in India; 16% in Japan; 19% in New Zealand; and 43% in Singapore over the past 18 months, spanning pre-pandemic to now. As a subset of malware, ransomware encounters have also increased 453% in Australia; 463% in China; 100% in India; 541% in Japan; 825% in New Zealand; and 296% in Singapore over the same period.

According to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index[1], 53% of people surveyed in Asia plan to move because they can now work remotely – this is slightly higher than the global figure of 46%, pointing to the urgency for security to address this new way of working.

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