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Why Microsoft is Putting Cybersecurity at Center of Operations

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Microsoft Corporation is changing. The company began in software, but today that’s just one of many products at the firm. Microsoft is no longer the same old tech firm it once was. They are pushing into mobile with a new line of Lumia phones, cross-platform apps, and the upcoming Windows 10 mobile. Microsoft is also challenging newer, nimbler tech firms such as Apple and Google with the introduction of new products and the re-inventing of older products.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

Many have expressed optimism over the prospects of Microsoft going forward as the firm continues to reposition itself in the tech industry. To start with, Microsoft’s Surface Book has shown that the firm can adapt to the new landscape in which buyers want tech firms to push the frontiers of possibilities. Windows 10 has once more shown that the humble PC is not yet dead, and while PC sales haven’t surged, the drop in sales has slowed down.

However, the proof of Microsoft’s rebirth goes beyond making a Surface Book, Surface Phone, or Windows 10 OS. Microsoft has done a great job in reawakening itself in hardware and software; however, the greatest reawakening at Richmond is in the field of Cybersecurity.

Microsoft builds Cyberattack War room

Cyberattacks have grown in the frequency of their occurrence, the depth of their reach, the sophistication of the attacks, the randomness of their victims, and the different kind of players behind the attack. From high profile data breaches at retailers, to government-sponsored espionage, down to ransomware targeting individuals and small businesses; cyber attacks have been on an increase. Microsoft has often been accused of sitting on the backbench in the fight against cyberattacks.

Now, Microsoft is going to the vanguard against cyber attacks as the firm launches a Cyber Defense Operations Center. The high-tech bunker is a state-of-the-earth cyber defense center where security engineers work to stave off attacks. The engineers at the facility are urged to “protect,” “detect,” and “respond” to cyber attacks in a fast-paced environment where seconds and minutes can be the difference between an isolated case of cyberattack and a full-blown cyberwar.

Duncan Brown, research director at IDC Research Inc notes that “Microsoft has been on the fringe of security for some time… Now, they are putting it at the center of operations.” In December 2015, experts noted that global spending on Cybersecurity increased by 4.7% to $75B in 2015. The analysts noted that the global cybersecurity market would have grown to $170B by 2020. The hottest areas of interest in cybersecurity are cloud security (50%), Mobile security (18%), threat intelligence 10%+ and security analytics.

Microsoft must invest in security

Microsoft must show deep commitment to cybersecurity in order to keep its Azure cloud business competitive. It is no longer news that Microsoft’s Azure is in a tight race with Amazon’s AWS as the flight to the clouds becomes the next frontier that technology firms must conquer. Microsoft reportedly spent $1B on strengthen its defense systems last year but the firm has not revealed how much it spent on the cyber war room.

Outside of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft has been pushing its customers to save more data in the Cloud. Its OneDrive initiative is an effort to get users to move their data to the cloud and its Office 365 suite is now software-as-a-service (SAAS) platform in the cloud. Microsoft’s stronger push into the cybersecurity is strategic and at the same time practical.

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Victor Alagbe is a seasoned business and finance writer with a specialty in writing about how to invest for the long-term in healthcare, pharmacology, energy and tech stocks. His long-term focus is on stocks that provide a nice mix of growth and income. For the short term, he passionately writes about trading stock options for the excitement and leverage that stock options offer.

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