Microsoft CEO takes a collaborative approach to cybersecurity

November 23, 2015

Kenneth Corbin

Satya Nadella will have you know that cybersecurity takes a village.

The Microsoft CEO took to the stage this week in the nation's capital to describe a new, collaborative approach the company is taking as it deals with an evolving set of digital threats targeting an increasingly distributed tangle of users, devices and systems.

Nadella positions the cyber challenge as the latest entry on a continuum of threats that have emerged with new methods of communication, recalling the emergence of mail fraud and wire fraud, and calling cyber "one of the most pressing issues of [our] time."

At the core of his message: we can't do this alone.

"We've always had attacks on trust," Nadella says. "Each time we've been faced with this we've come together collectively as individuals, companies, organizations and governments to respond to use the very technology to be able to respond to the challenge. And that's what we're doing with cybersecurity."

The company announced an array of security moves it is making to better protect users and systems at a time when the number of Internet-connected devices is soaring, including a new security posture framed around the three pillars of protection, detection and response.

Cyber Defense Operations Center

Nadella touted a soup-to-nuts approach to security that encompasses everything from sensor-enabled devices to data centers. In support of that effort, Microsoft is establishing a new facility it's calling the Cyber Defense Operations Center, which will be staffed around the clock with security experts from the company working to detect and respond to emerging threats in real time.

Microsoft says that that team will coordinate with thousands of security workers, engineers, developers and others throughout the company, in what Nadella promises will be a more proactive approach to fighting cyber threats.

"When it comes to detection, it's no longer, for example, waiting to detect a signature and then coming up with a response and then deploying the remediation," he says. "We now have moved to much more of a behavioral approach where we can detect based on the behavior of the attack vector."

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