Andrew Posted on 2:20 pm

Strengthening Cybersecurity: Protecting Against 99% of Attacks

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, one undeniable truth stands out—implementing fundamental security hygiene practices can thwart the vast majority of cyberattacks. By adhering to these minimum-security standards, it is possible to protect against over 99 percent of attacks. In this article, we’ll delve into these essential practices and explore how they can fortify your defenses.

Continuing the theme of exploring highlights from the Microsoft Digital Defense Report #MDDR 2023, today we walk through the top 5 security fundamentals to better enhance all organizations digital defenses.  These few configuration areas will protect against over 99% of attacks according to the MDDR.

Enable Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to enhance security is by implementing Multifactor Authentication (MFA). MFA adds an extra layer of protection by requiring users to provide multiple forms of verification. This not only safeguards against compromised user passwords but also provides resilience for user identities.

The Effectiveness of MFA: Recent studies have shown that MFA can reduce the risk of compromise by a staggering 99.2 percent. Its ability to deter cyberattacks makes it a critical component of any robust cybersecurity strategy.

Apply Zero Trust Principles

The cornerstone of resilience against cyber threats lies in applying Zero Trust principles. This approach involves:

  • Explicitly verifying the state of users and devices before granting access to resources.
  • Implementing least privilege access, allowing only the necessary privileges for resource access.
  • Assuming a breach and continuously monitoring the environment for possible attacks.
  • Build, secure, and monitor your datacenter perimeter.

Zero Trust principles are proactive measures that limit the impact of an attack on an organization.  There is so much more to zero trust, but let’s leave that for another day…

Use Extended Detection and Response (XDR) and Antimalware

Implementing robust threat detection mechanisms is essential in today’s threat landscape. Extended Detection and Response (XDR) and antimalware solutions are crucial components of a cybersecurity strategy. They not only detect but also automatically block attacks and provide invaluable insights for security operations. Monitoring insights from threat detection systems enables organizations to respond to threats promptly.

Keep Up to Date

Unpatched and outdated systems are a significant vulnerability exploited by cybercriminals. Ensure that all systems, including firmware, the operating system, and applications, are regularly updated. Timely updates close security vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of successful attacks.

Protect Data

Understanding your organization’s sensitive data, its location, and the adequacy of implemented defenses is paramount. Protecting critical data assets requires a comprehensive approach tailored to your organization’s unique needs.

Hyperscale Cloud and Cybersecurity

Hyperscale cloud environments simplify the implementation of fundamental security practices. Whether through enabling these practices by default or abstracting the need for customers to implement them, the cloud plays a pivotal role in enhancing security.

  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions provided by hyperscale cloud providers often handle patch management, reducing the burden on organizations.
  • Implementing security measures like MFA and Zero Trust principles becomes more straightforward in hyperscale cloud environments, where these capabilities are integrated into the platform.
  • Cloud-enabled solutions like XDR and MFA are continually updated with trillions of daily signals, ensuring dynamic protection that adapts to the evolving threat landscape.


Cybersecurity is a complex and ever-changing landscape, but it’s reassuring to know that by implementing fundamental security practices, we can protect against the vast majority of cyberattacks. Multifactor Authentication, Zero Trust principles, robust threat detection, regular updates, and data protection are the cornerstones of a strong defense.

In our interconnected world, collaboration and collective action are also essential. Initiatives like the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, driven by technology and security companies worldwide, emphasize the importance of unity in addressing cyber threats. By following these practices and participating in global cybersecurity efforts, we can collectively create a safer digital environment for all.

For more information on global cybersecurity initiatives and industry partnerships, you can visit and remember to check out the Microsoft Digital Defense Report at