Microsoft claims it really does care about privacy and securing the cloud and Windows 10, promising to build cybersecurity teams and investing in the area.
A new Cyber Defense Operations Center will bring together security response experts from across the technology giant in a new “state-of-the-art” facility. The unit will be staffed around the clock by security professionals, data analysts, engineers, developers, program managers, and operations specialists.
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Workers at the facility will work closely with a Microsoft Enterprise Cybersecurity Group. The business unit will offer security assessments and provides ongoing monitoring, threat detection, and incident response capabilities. Regular infused consultants and vendors offer similar service, but Microsoft aims to distinguish itself through the experience of delivering cloud-based services to both consumers (XBox Live) and enterprises (Azure, Office 365).
A new Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) will offer support for mobile application management without the need to enroll the device. The technology will incorporate features that aim to help IT staff in protecting and managing corporate applications and data on any Windows, iOS, and Android device.
Microsoft chief exec Satya Nadella outlined the strategy at an event in Washington DC on Tuesday morning. The speech was the first time Nadella has talked about security since becoming Microsoft chief exec.
Nadella spoke about trust as both at the core and central to Microsoft's mission "empowering every person and organisation" (aka making good money selling products and services). He spoke about four pillars upon which this trust is built: privacy – "we will ensure your data is private and under your control"; compliance – "we will manage your data in accordance with the law of the land"; transparency about the collection and the use of data; and (lastly) ensuring data is secure.
During a demo a product manager, Julia White, showed how Windows 10* could offer authentication through biometrics (fingerprint, facial, or iris scans) as a password replacement for secure logins. This Windows 10's Microsoft Passport and Windows Hello is supplemented by Azure Active Directory, which aims to simplify password and identity management.
To protect against malware, Windows 10 Device Guard uses a combination of hardware and software to prevent the installation of untrusted or malicious code.
The technology push is explained by Microsoft here.
The strategy refresh comes 14 years after Bill Gates wrote his famous "Trustworthy Computing" memo that committed Microsoft toward making more secure products. ®
* Simply putting Windows 10 and privacy in lexical proximity to each other means we're honour-bound to note widespread privacy concerns about the operating system, as explained in previous coverage. Redmond, it should be noted, fiercely contests these concerns.