Microsoft gives away free AccountGuard to combat recent cyberattack surge


Microsoft is now offering AccountGuard, a new security service, free to all healthcare, human rights and humanitarian organizations, and its staff. This is in response to the recent surge in cyberattacks that seem to take advantage of the chaos experienced by users due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cyberattacks are intensifying globally as the coronavirus outbreak finds end users distracted and overwhelmed in crisis. The RSA reports that we are losing the cyberattack battle at an alarming rate.

To address this, Microsoft has wagered profit talk and reportedly proceeded to announce that it has made AccountGuard free to the mentioned groups for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

Recent attacks targeted at healthcare organizations

Reports showed that in the final week of March and the early week of April, various emails that contained ransomware had been sent to individuals affiliated with health organizations that are actively engaged in coronavirus response efforts and research. This leads some to be skeptical about the true nature of the virus once again.

Nonetheless, cyberattack researchers further analyzed the ransomware and found that it was a variant called EDA2. This is associated with HiddenTear – a larger, parent ransomware.

Cyberattacks not limited to snatching numbers from your bank account

Although most cyberattack victims report being hacked by cybercriminals and consequently losing digits in their bank accounts, another scenario poses a more significant threat to nations.

Research has shown that cyberattacks have been linked to persons who are heading to the polls to cast their ballots and vote for their candidates. Not only can these criminals manipulate your bank accounts, but they can also manipulate decisive mechanisms like the national elections. With a single click, democracy can be ended, or an antagonistic leader can be elected.

Protecting democracy with Microsoft AccountGuard

This new security tool is a state-of-the-art cybersecurity service that detects cyber threats perilous to the integrity of the user’s data. It also provides guidance on the mechanisms that make networks and email systems safe so that users remain guided on how best they can protect their data.

It has other features, yes, but the most enticing of all is that AccountGuard provides briefings and training to address changing cybersecurity trends.

Microsoft initiated the “Defending Democracy Program” to ensure that threats to democracy are eliminated, and personal data are kept intact.

Market-wise, it is plausible that this act of goodwill can inspire an improvement in the company’s share value.


Feature image used courtesy of Serginhoo Tavares/Youtube Screenshot.

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