Feature Articles

Microsoft invests billions in creating a holistic security platform for enterprises

By Lionell Go Macahilig - 26 Sep 2017

Microsoft invests billions in creating a holistic security platform for enterprises

cybersecurity, enterprises, microsoft, singapore, keshav dhakad, cyber threats, cyber attacks, breach, microsoft 365, windows 10, bangladesh, bank heist, hackers, malware

Ensuring cybersecurity among enterprises

Cyber threats today behave much differently from those that emerged five or ten years ago, when cybersecurity issues were more focused on malware. At Microsoft's Transparency and Cybersecurity Center in Singapore, Microsoft Asia's Assistant General Counsel & Regional Director for Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) Keshav Dhakad shared the company's study showing that 46% of compromised systems today are discovered that they didn't have malware on them. Worsening the situation, in spite of the incessant warnings from cybersecurity experts, many people are still easily victimized by these threats. The study adds that 23% of recipients opened phishing messages and 11% clicked on attachments, fifty percent of which opened the malicious file within the first hour.

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From the individual level, Dhakad proceeded on tackling the cybersecurity concerns on the organizational level. Getting insights from Cisco's Annual Cybersecurity Report 2017, he identified operations and finance as the two key functions that are most likely affected by breaches at 36% and 30% respectively. These are followed by brand reputation (26%), customer retention (26%), intellectual property (24%), business partner relationships (22%), supplier relationships (20%), legal engagements (20%), and regulatory scrutiny (19%). While these functions have no direct relationship with profit generation, successful breaches on these have impact on stakeholders' and customers' confidence, which may result in a huge drop in stock market and public perception.

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That said, cybersecurity has become one of the C-level concerns in every organization today, with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) being held as the most accountable when a major breach happens. Locally, as the Philippines gears toward a more digitally driven economy (DX economy), IDC is seeing that by next year, IT spending on cybersecurity will exceed for about 30% in top 1,000 Filipino companies. Helping in making cybersecurity a top concern among local organizations are the successful breaches that took place in 2016 such as the leakage of private, confidential information of voters and the bank heist that involved the transfer of USD 100 million from a Bangladesh bank by hackers.

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In light of these predicaments, Microsoft is investing more than USD 15 billion or around USD 1 billion in research and development each year in addressing cybersecurity concerns that are taking place around the globe. Microsoft has created a comprehensive security ecosystem based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, in partnership with industry partners and anti-malware entities. With this, cybersecurity solutions have become embedded in every Microsoft platform such as Windows 10, Office 365 as well as enterprise mobility and security, collectively known as Microsoft 365.

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In Microsoft 365, Microsoft has put cybersecurity tools on points where breaches may occur, from users, devices and applications, to the actual data. For example, Windows 10 are loaded with Windows Hello and Microsoft Passport for users, Credential Guard, Device Guard, Windows Defender, and Windows Update for devices and applications, and Enterprise Data Protection for data the operating system's security features. Office 365, Microsoft's productivity suite comes with Customer LockBox, Microsoft Exchange, Online Protection, Advanced Threat Protection, and Data Loss Prevention as its security solutions. Meanwhile, Microsoft's Mobility and Security platform for enterprise features Microsoft Azure Active Directory, Cloud App Security, Microsoft Intune, Azure Information Protection, and Advanced Threat Analytics.