Microsoft Unveils effort to combat cyberthreats

Emphasizing the importance of security in what it envisages as a “mobile-first, cloud-first world”, Microsoft announced its intentions of helping its customers, particularly enterprises, enhance their level of security.

The announcement was made at the Microsoft Government Cloud Forum in Washington D.C by CEO Satya Nadella, who spoke at length about the various types of threats, security and otherwise, faced by companies in a world that is increasingly relying upon computers. With this growing reliance, the plethora of threats such as malware, phishing attacks, social engineering, and accidental data loss has also grown.

We live in a world where the attacks can come from anywhere, the attackers themselves are much more sophisticated,

It stands to reason then, that the defenses should be even stronger.

“The center provides an unprecedented opportunity to bring together people with different expertise — engineers, investigators, lawyers, etc. — and equip them with the best tools and technology available,” Bonnie MacNaughton, assistant general counsel for the Digital Crimes Unit (DCU), told InformationWeek.

The DCU team is made up of nearly 100 lawyers, investigators, forensic analysts, and business professionals all around the world. The company has established a dozen satellite offices or regional labs in major cities, including Beijing, Berlin, Bogota, Dublin, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Washington, D.C. It can provide the latest technology and monitor developments internationally — two aspects that can be challenging for US law enforcement.

Housed within the Cyber Crime Center, the DCU team brings cybercrime experts across the areas of IP, botnets, malware, and child exploitation under one umbrella, “so that when focus areas intersect … we can work better together to eliminate cyber threats to Microsoft’s businesses, customers, and the entire digital ecosystem,” said MacNaughton.

The organization is aimed at coping with fight threats on a global level and as such is part of a network of industry  related security partners, governments and enterprise customers.

Also, hinting at the impending importance of such robust security organizations, he added

While there will always be new threats, new attacks and new technologies, companies can take action today to address security concerns and improve their security postures. It is critical for companies to strengthen their core security hygiene (across things like monitoring, antivirus, patch and operating systems), adopt modern platforms and comprehensive identity, security and management solutions, and leverage features offered within cloud services.

The CDOC is in addition to the $1 billion Microsoft’s invests each year in security research and development (R&D). Microsoft has also embarked upon a recent spree of acquiring entities associated with cyber security. Indeed, the week past saw the tech giant shell out almost $150 million to acquire Israel’s Secure Islands — its third cyber security acquisition from Israel in 2015.

The drive to bring about improvements in security fits in with Microsoft’s attempts towards creating the intelligent cloud platform, an endeavour which would certainly require the supposedly impregnable defences the company is cooking up.

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