Over the last few years, the security landscape has continued to change significantly. Over time we have seen organisations trying to hold on and navigate the constant challenges of the pandemic, the expansion of the digital estate and the evolution of threats. 

As leaders in security, Microsoft are continually evaluating tools and resources required for people to succeed in this important work. In this blog we highlight the challenges and solutions as proposed by Microsoft for the year ahead.

Addressing ransomware and cloud security

It will come as no surprise that ransomware and cloud security come out on top when it comes to the security challenges organisations face. Leaders are feeling the pressure and according to the 2021 Ransomware Survey Report, ransomware grew by 1070 percent between July 2020 and June 2021. Cybercriminals no longer need to develop their own tools but instead can simply buy proven cybercrime kits and services to incorporate into their campaigns. This gives the average cybercriminal access to better tools and automation to enable scale and drive down costs. As a result, attacks of all types are on the rise, with the economics behind successful ransomware attacks fuelling a rapid trajectory. 

Cloud security has also been pushed into the forefront as security leaders adapt to the realities of the pandemic and the shift to hybrid work. The cloud represents significant opportunities for scale and agility. At the same time, cloud security technologies are evolving, and customers are looking for ways to simplify security across their entire portfolio.

Investment priorities for 2022

Aligned to the top cybersecurity challenges, cloud security lands as the top area of security investment over the next 12 months. For most security leaders, this means prioritising investments that help them close gaps, protect workloads, and secure access to cloud resources. Security leaders are looking for solutions that can help them tackle these challenges comprehensively—with so many organisations having a multi-cloud environment, the integration will be key. As a Microsoft partner we know Microsoft is committed to delivering end-to-end cloud security that works across all clouds. 

Hybrid work and the acceleration of digital transformation are massively expanding the amount of data that needs to be protected, amplifying the need for comprehensive data security. Microsoft predict that organisations of all sizes will need to continue to evolve their data security strategy to keep up with changes in the digital environment.

Adopting a Zero trust strategy

As leaders aim to mitigate threats there has been an increased focus on implementing Zero Trust—currently the top reported topic of interest from Microsoft’s research. As Zero Trust architecture is designed to prevent an attacker’s ability to move laterally, a Zero Trust strategy is extremely helpful in prioritizing and addressing prevention-focused investments.  

These include things like shutting down legacy authentication methods, providing secure access to resources using multifactor authentication (MFA), implementing risk-based access controls, and utilising posture management tools to identify and remediate risks in cloud resources. By implementing a Zero Trust strategy, organisations can safely embrace a hybrid workplace, and protect people, devices, apps, and data wherever they are located.

As the last couple of years have demonstrated, cybersecurity is a mission of great importance. It not only underpins the business resilience that enables your organisation to thrive in times of uncertainty, but it’s also critical to the fight for digital safety for all. To learn more about how to keep your organisation protected contact our team of experts who can help.