Microsoft report says the cloud is a security game changer

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 01 August 2016
Microsoft report says the cloud is a security game changer

The latest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report shows that, while the threat landscape in the European Union has remained relatively stable, it has also changed in unpredictable ways. Each country in Europe has a unique mix of threats that are blunted or kindled based on the influence of a combination of socio-economic factors such as GDP per capita, broadband penetration, use of mobile devices, Facebook usage, and many others.

“In the last few years, things have changed dramatically in the threat landscape, our visibility into it, and the speed at which we can make adjustments to help protect customers,” said Tim Rains, Microsoft’s director of security, in an official press release. “An ever-evolving security landscape calls for new tactics, and more and more businesses are looking to new horizons to stay protected. The cloud has been a security game changer and it’s becoming more powerful every day.”

Among the highest ranking threats are malicious websites, malware, exploits and vulnerabilities. Countries such as Romania and Croatia continue to have relatively high malware encounter rates and infection rates (CCM), while Finland, Sweden and Denmark are among the lowest. But, Portugal and Italy have the highest ransomware encounter rates in the EU.

In fact, 18 of the 28 countries in the EU have above average ransomware encounter rates. On the other hand, France, Italy and the UK have some of the highest encounter rates for Trojan Downloaders and Droppers, while the Netherlands hosts the highest levels of phishing sites in the region. But these types of conditions tend to be temporary and can be overcome.

“The good news is that organisations of all sizes have never had more choice regarding security capabilities and mitigations – especially small and medium sized businesses,” Rains said. “With cloud technology, the security game has changed forever. I like to describe the cloud as a ‘rising tide that raises all boats’. The security, privacy and compliance capabilities that cloud services offer, typically far exceeds what small and medium sized businesses can afford to do with their on-premises IT investments.”

Rains argues that very few organisations can access this much data, aggregate it, and analyse it, every day, on-premises, and use it to make timely security decisions. “Through our machine learning capabilities, we can protect customers in a highly sophisticated way, faster than most organisations could do on-premises. We collect trillions of signals from billions of sources to build an intelligent security graph that can learn from one area and apply across the Microsoft platform. The intelligent security graph is powered by inputs we receive across our endpoints, consumer services, commercial services and on-premises technologies. This is a huge value add for small and medium sized businesses that could not invest in this type of capability for their on-premises IT environments.”

Security expertise is in high demand around the world. Subsequently, many organizations are looking to the cloud to help simplify and manage their operations, while leveraging the security expertise of their cloud service provider.

Rains says there’s a straightforward path to success. “Start by looking at Microsoft Cloud App Security, Azure Security Center, and Azure Active Directory Identity Protection, and I think you’ll see that you’ll get insights and control that you likely don’t get in you on-premises IT environment. If you are specifically worried about the threat that malware poses, head over to the Malware Protection Center for more tips on how to protect your business.”

Find out more by downloading the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report


News, Cloud, Security

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