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Published: 29th December 2020 | In: Insights

There can be no denying that, in the year 2020, cyber security – or perhaps, more importantly, a lack of – is one of the top risks posed to organisations across the globe.

In fact, when we consider the latest Allianz Risk Barometer – now in the ninth year of its inception – cyber risk has, for the first time ever, topped the charts in the list of top global business risks in 2020.

According to another survey of more than 2,000 executives from over 100 countries worldwide (including CEO’s and Risk Managers), 39% of respondents listed ‘cyber incidents’ as their top concern (ZDNet).

These findings are particularly interesting when we consider the fact that, way back in 2012, cyber security ranked a paltry 15th on the Allianz Risk Barometer compiled by Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality (AGCS) – highlighted by only 6% of respondents as being a top risk and/or concern.

So why then all the increased worry surrounding the risks posed by cyber attacks in 2020?  Put simply, cyber attacks are growing in both scale and complexity and, as a direct result of this, the cost of falling victim to just such an attack is also growing.

What can we do to prevent this from happening?

The answer to this question depends on the proactive nature of your organisation.  The best way to avoid falling victim to any security breach or attack is by employing Threat Hunting techniques across your environment.

Threat Hunting is the proactive process whereby Security Teams will actively hunt for any advanced level threats within an organisation’s environment.  This differs from Threat Detection in so far as, the main aim of Threat Hunting is to detect any threats before they become visible – by triggering any alerts etc.

The importance of Threat Hunting simply cannot be overstated.  We know that today’s malware will very often avoid detection by traditional anti-virus software, we also know that for every second an attacker spends inside your environment, the potential cost of an attack increases exponentially.  Organisations cannot afford to wait days, weeks or even months before they are aware of an attacker in their environment; not when the costs are so high.

A successful cyber attack is a very big deal for a business and something which should be avoided – at all costs – wherever possible.  Every single aspect of daily operations can be affected, from the disruption of technical equipment to the more serious theft of data and sensitive information.

When a business suffers from an attack, the damage done – not just to the aforementioned operations – but also, the reputational damage caused can be huge.  A loss of trust and faith in your organisation by its customers can, ultimately, ensure that the fallout caused is felt by far more employees than just the company CEO.

How do we start actively Threat Hunting?

Luckily, this is not something that you – or your organisation – has to do alone.  Thanks to Microsoft’s leading security technologies, teams across the globe have really never been better equipped to deal with the evolving threat landscape.

As Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) continue to wreak havoc, security teams are adopting the use of threat hunting platforms as a way of uncovering attackers faster and more efficiently.

We know that a 100% detection rate is near impossible, we also know that traditional tools are no longer equipped with the functionality required to fully protect the modern organisation.  This is why there is such a need for security teams to be able to hunt for threats to the business in the most effective way possible.

By adopting a threat hunting strategy, your organisation is moving away from the reactive firefighting of incidents and alerts and moving towards a far more proactive method of ensuring the safety of your environment by hunting and eradicating threats.

Enter Microsoft Defender Extended Detection and Response (XDR).  If you are wondering just what we are even talking about right now, download our guide “An Introduction to Microsoft Defender XDR”.

Microsoft Defender XDR is designed to address the challenge of APTs by delivering a single unified ecosystem that provides visibility across all areas of an organisation, including SaaS solutions, Endpoints, Servers, Containers, Cloud Providers, IoT devices, Networks, Identities, and more, enabling security teams to apply advanced analytics and leverage automation to detect, analyse, hunt, and remediate threats.

Okay, but what makes Microsoft so special when it comes to Threat Hunting?

The reason for this is based on a concept known as Threat Intelligence and the premise here is quite simple, really.  In order to be able to hunt and remediate threats in your environment, security teams must first gather intel around the type of APTs they may be dealing with.  As with many things in life, intelligence is the first line of defence here.

Threat Intelligence gathers signals from a huge range of sources in order to gain as full a picture of the threat landscape as possible.  As the market leader in security worldwide, Microsoft draws on their unrivalled experience as a global enterprise, gathering intelligence from such means as:

– Processing more than 450 billion authentications.

– Scanning and analysing 400 billion emails for malware and phishing.

– Updating more than one billion Windows devices.

– Building a rich resource from more than 200 cloud and commercial services worldwide.

Coupled with this, is Microsoft’s continuous study of the threat landscape – publishing the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report every 6 months since 2016 is just one example of how ‘on the pulse’ Microsoft really are when it comes to security and the evolving threats out there.

Informed by over 8 trillion daily security signals, the Digital Defence Report presents telemetry and insights about the current state of cyber security and is an invaluable tool for security professionals across the globe.

The basic concept of threat intelligence is an attempt to drown out the noise that is created by a seemingly unending wave of alerts and signals.  It is imperative that security teams are able to quickly discern which signals are highest priority, why this is and what needs to be done.  Threat Intelligence gives context, relevance and priority.

The point of all of this is that this unmatched level of Threat Intelligence is built into all Microsoft’s security products and services.  Which, in turn, culminates in the fact that the new Microsoft Defender XDR, under the two individual experiences of Microsoft 365 Defender and Azure Defender, is the most comprehensive XDR available in the market today.

That all sounds great, but I don’t think my organisation has the capacity to do this, we wouldn’t even know where to begin?

Don’t worry, we’ve got this.  This was exactly why Quorum Cyber was created in the first place.  We are here to help the good guys win.  To defend teams and organisations across the globe from the rising threats of the digital landscape.

Through our Managed Security Services, and our partnership with Microsoft we are able to deliver your organisation the full force of the best security technologies on the planet, coupled with our own unique knowledge, expertise and skills, bringing tangible business outcomes to the forefront of your security strategies.

Our new Microsoft Defender XDR Engineering Service enables you to focus on your business and IT strategy without the lingering fear of attack.  While you concentrate on your business, assigning and diverting valuable resources to where they are most needed, Quorum Cyber will deploy, manage and maintain the entire Microsoft Defender XDR ecosystem on your behalf.

Through this methodology, we seek to maximise and maintain the effectiveness of your investment – ensuring the investment is as efficient at reducing risk as possible – we will truly maximise its capability and will constantly push the boundaries of what can be achieved by technology.

You can rest assured and lean on the knowledge of our teams of experienced Threat Hunters, Red Teamer’s and Security Engineers who are on-hand 24/7 to find threats and contain cyber security incidents before they are able to harm your business.