Report: Enterprise systems much safer than consumer

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Companies or enterprises are half as likely to encounter malware as consumers and other users without professional IT management, according to the newest Microsoft Security Intelligence Report released Friday.

The analysis, based on tens of billions of reports from computers using Microsoft security software between July and December 2015, found about 11 percent of domain-joined PCs encountered malware during the fourth quarter. In comparison, about 22 percent of non-domain-joined systems did so during that quarter.

Domain-joined computers belong to an Active Directory Domain Services domain — used almost exclusively in enterprise environments.

Non-domain computers also encountered more software-based malware, such as Adware and browser modifiers or software bundlers, but domain-joined ones encountered slightly more ransomware.

“Comparing the threats encountered by domain-joined computers and non-domain computers can provide insights into the different ways attackers target enterprise and home users and which threats are more likely to succeed in each environment,” the report said.

“Domain-based computers encountered exploits nearly as often as their non-domain counterparts, despite encountering less than half as much malware as non-domain computers overall,” it concludes.

In the report also details the tactics and techniques of a new South and Southeast Asian hacking group, that the authors dub “Platinum,” and gives statistics regarding cybersecurity and malicious online activity across the globe.

The United States fared better than some other countries: 12.5 percent of U.S. computers using Microsoft security software encountered malware in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to the global average of 20.8 percent, the report said. Microsoft’s Malicious Software Removal Tool managed to clean 1.23 percent of all U.S. machines, the world average is 1.69 percent.

This is Microsoft’s twentieth security report, but also the first the first time it included information on their cloud security.

In total, the company dealt with 13 billion login attempts per day across all types of Microsoft user accounts, including 1.3 billion requests from Microsoft’s enterprise Azure Active Directory. The company’s machine learning systems analyzed more than 10 terabyte of data last year too.

“From all this data gathering and analysis, each day Microsoft’s account protection systems automatically detect and prevent more than 10 million [fraudulent or suspect login attempts], from tens of thousands of locations, including millions of attacks where the attacker has valid [password and login] credentials,” the report said.

Contact the reporter on this story via email: Jeremy.Snow@FedScoop.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeremyM_Snow. Sign up for the Daily Scoop — all the federal IT news you need in your inbox every morning — here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

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Attacks & Breaches, Cloud, Cybersecurity, Government IT News, Microsoft, Microsoft Security Intelligence Report, Tech
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