IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Layered security strategy vital to combat Microsoft 365 phishing threat

By Shannon Williams
Thu 2 Sep 2021

A layered security strategy is vital in order to combat threats such as the latest Microsoft phishing campaign, according to cyber security specialist Cyren. 

Microsoft has warned Office 365 customers that they're being targeted by a widespread phishing campaign aimed at nabbing usernames and passwords. 

"Today’s email threats rely on three things to be effective: a convincing social engineering lure, a well-crafted detection evasion technique, and a durable infrastructure to carry out an attack," the Microsoft 365 Defender Threat Intelligence Team warns. 

"This phishing campaign exemplifies the perfect storm of these elements in its attempt to steal credentials and ultimately infiltrate a network. And given that 91% of all cyberattacks originate with email, organisations must therefore have a security solution that will provide them multilayered defense against these types of attacks."

The ongoing phishing campaign is using multiple links; clicking on them results in a series of redirections that lead victims to a Google reCAPTCHA page that leads to a bogus login page where Office 365 credentials are stolen.  

Microsoft warns this feature is being used by the phishing attackers. 

"However, attackers could abuse open redirects to link to a URL in a trusted domain and embed the eventual final malicious URL as a parameter. Such abuse may prevent users and security solutions from quickly recognising possible malicious intent," Microsoft says.

Pete Starr, Global Director of Sales Engineering at Cyren on Microsoft's warning about an Office 365 phishing campaign that is targeting usernames and passwords.

"Microsoft Office 365 credentials continue to be one of the key targets of phishing attack perpetrators globally. In fact, there are an abundance of phishing kits available online that specifically target Microsoft O365, and they have the ability to use many evasion techniques to bypass email gateway defences and Microsoft Defender for Office 365," he says. 

"They often combine several evasion techniques and use trusted cloud services, just like this campaign which is particularly devious." 

To combat these threats, Starr says it is important to implement a layered strategy. 

"The layered strategy needs to include real-time detection of zero-day and unique phishing threats. This warning from Microsoft is interesting, but phishing attacks have a very short lifetime generally not more than 48 hours," he says.

"If you're reading about an attack in the news, it's too late to prevent it," Starr says.

"We have also observed that organisations have emphasised automating their phishing incident response playbooks. Their objective is to reduce the time between detecting a new evasive threat and eliminating it from all user inboxes. 

"At present, email security is overly focused on prevention which demonstrates diminishing returns for each new layer of detection," he says. 

"By adding a real-time detection and automated remediation capability to identify and eliminate phishing threats rapidly, we can minimise the impact of when a phishing email makes it through our defences."

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
Zscaler, AWS accelerate onramp to the cloud with zero trust
Zscaler has announced an extension to its relationship with Amazon Web Services, as well as innovations built on Zscaler's Zero Trust architecture.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security, CIS create software supply chain security guide
Aqua Securityand the Center for Internet Security have together released the industry’s first formal guidelines for software supply chain security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Threat actors ramp up their social engineering attacks
As people get better at identifying potential threats in their inbox, threat actors must evolve their methods. Their new M.O? Social engineering.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom puts electronics sector on notice over resale price maintenance
The Commerce Commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that television manufacturers were engaging in illegal resale price maintenance.
Story image
Cloud
Cloudflare outage in 19 data centers worldwide due to own error
Cloudflare says its outage for 19 of its data centers yesterday was because of a change in a long-running project to increase resilience in its busiest locations.
Story image
Microsoft
Volpara, Microsoft project to detect cardiovascular issues
Volpara Health Technologies is working with Microsoft on a research and development project to speed up creating a product that detects and quantifies breast arterial calcifications (BACs).
Story image
Infrastructure
VMware wins Google Cloud partner award for infrastructure modernisation
The cloud computing and virtualisation company was recognised for its achievements as part of the Google Cloud ecosystem.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Significant security concerns resulting from open source software ubiquity
"The risk is real, and the industry must work closely together in order to move away from poor open source or software supply chain security practices."
Story image
Entelar
How TruSens air purifiers can create healthier workspaces
The pandemic has heightened our awareness of our own and others’ health, and made us all much more conscious of the environments we work in.
Story image
Training
Employers look to hire inexperienced coders due to skills shortage
"Even inexperienced workers without prior qualifications or experience had managed to pivot to new roles in coding as long as they are willing to upskill."
Story image
Partnerships
Microsoft expands APAC Enabler Mentorship Program
"Mentors are the key to success for every professional. A good mentor is a coach, a guide, as well as a vocal advocate."
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Rimini Street
Today we welcome back Daniel Benad, who is the GVP & regional GM for Oceania at Rimini Street.
Story image
Disaster Recovery
Eaton provides business continuity with disaster avoidance application
Many SMBs often struggle with problems relating to UPS and IT assets due to the sheer amount of time and resources required to run effectively. 
Story image
SaaS
Varonis strengthens security capabilities for AWS and S3
Varonis has strengthened and expanded its cloud and security capabilities, with a critical aim of improving safety and boosting data visibility in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).
Story image
SaaS
Sealord partners with Infor to improve sustainability
Sealord has chosen Infor as a strategic partner to implement an operational cloud-based platform that provides day-one functionality and sustainability gains.
Story image
Citrix
The best ways to attract young talent during labour shortages
New research from Citrix reveals hybrid working and ventures into the metaverse are top of mind for Gen Z workers.
Story image
CRM
Microsoft launches app for modern selling experience
The new release is designed to enhance CRM systems with customer engagement data from Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Electricity
Canstar finds Flick Electric NZ’s favourite provider
Canstar’s annual research to find New Zealand’s favourite electricity provider reveals Flick Electric has come out on top.
Story image
N4L
N4L, Spark, Chorus partner for Hyperfibre school upgrade
Networks for Learning (N4L) has partnered with Spark and Chorus to upgrade Wellington College to Hyperfibre, fostering stronger outcomes for students and teachers.
Story image
Data
How a single mandate changed software development forever
There’s conjecture about exactly when it was issued and by whom, but a mandate made twenty years ago is continuing to shape the software development process today.
Story image
API
Industry-first comprehensive risk-based API security enhances protection
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have become a crucial part of operating web and mobile application businesses and are causing significant economic growth in the digital sector.
Story image
Hybrid workforce
Why hybrid working is here to stay and how to ace it
Citrix's new report reveals hybrid workers are more productive and engaged at work than their office and completely remote counterparts.
Story image
Shouta
The rise of digital gifting in the workplace
The name itself does most of the explaining; it’s a gift you receive virtually. But a misconception about digital gifts is that they need to be redeemed virtually as well. 
Story image
Contact Centre
Customer service agents don't want to return to contact centres
A new report has revealed that 85% of customer service agents want to work full-time at home and not return to contact centre offices.
Story image
Collaboration
IT and security team collaboration crucial to data security
Many IT and security decision makers are not collaborating as effectively as possible to address growing cyber threats.
Story image
Network Security
Netskope announces zero trust network access updates
Customers can now apply zero trust principles across a range of hybrid work security needs, including SaaS, IaaS, private applications, and endpoint devices.
Story image
Open source
DataStax secures US$115 million to fund database expansion
DataStax has secured US$115 million in funding, which it will use to develop and expand its Astra DB multi-cloud database and Astra Streaming service globally.
Story image
DNS
DigiCert acquires DNS Made Easy and affiliated brands
Greg Clark comments, says, "This combination enhances the security of certificate validation and enables the automation of future validations."
Story image
B2B
Corpay partners with supply chain platform PracBiz Exchange
Corpay's new partnership with PracBiz’s allows more than 4000 B2B suppliers on the latter's platform to use Corpay's global payments services.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Greater API usage raises concerns for protection - report
Radware has released its 2022 State of API Security report, which shows a rise in APIs, with 92% of the organisations surveyed significantly or somewhat increasing their usage.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Cybersecurity priorities for digital leaders navigating digital transformation
In recent years, Asia-Pacific has especially been a hotspot for cyberattacks, and as we continue into 2022, it’s evident that the problem is becoming more significant.
Story image
Testing
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Tricentis
Tricentis provides software testing automation, and software quality assurance products for enterprise software.
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Cloudflare adds new capabilities to zero trust SASE platform
New features for Cloudflare One include email security protection, data loss prevention tools, cloud access security broker, and private network discovery.
Story image
PagerDuty
Ready for anything with the PagerDuty Operations Cloud
In a world of digital everything, teams face increasing complexity. Ever-growing dependencies across systems and processes put customer and employee experience, not to mention revenue, at risk.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Salesforce harnesses automated solutions with new developments
Salesforce has launched Sales Cloud Unlimited, a new feature to help accelerate productivity with AI and automation.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ingram Micro launches vendor-backed security program
Ingram Micro has unveiled a new program intended to give resellers the effective offerings their customers need to stay safe in the evolving threat landscape.
Story image
Robotic Process Automation / RPA
rapidMATION helps Coates achieve success with landmark RPA solution
A strong Robotic Process Automation solution (RPA) can help solve many complex issues that businesses face daily. 
Story image
Dark web
Cybercrime in Aotearoa: How does New Zealand law define it?
‘Cybercrime’ is a term we hear all the time, but what exactly is it, and how does New Zealand define it in legal terms?
Story image
Digital Transformation
Apptio adds portfolio enhancements to promote digital strategy
"While digitalisation creates opportunities, it also makes budgeting far more complex, leading many companies to waste substantial funds."
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Boomi, Limepay, Thales, VMware & Zoom
We round up all job appointments from June 6-16, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Why is NZ lagging behind the world in cybersecurity?
A recent report by TUANZ has revealed that we are ranked 56th in the world when it comes to cybersecurity - a look into why we're so behind and what needs to be done.
Story image
Market growth
Salesforce unveils new offerings for consumer goods companies
Salesforce has announced new products for consumer goods companies to help brands navigate increasing market complexity more easily.
Story image
eInvoicing
Airwallex, Xero extend partnership with easier invoice payments
Airwallex has extended its long-term partnership with Xero by releasing a new payment link integration for Xero invoices that will make receiving them easier and faster for Australian businesses.
Story image
Ransomware
Rapid7 report examines use of double extortion ransomware attacks
New insight into how attackers think when carrying out cyber attacks, along with further analysis of the disclosure layer of double extortion ransomware attacks, has come to light.