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  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

Microsoft's new "Secure Future Initiative" minimises Damage

Microsoft has unveiled a comprehensive cybersecurity plan called the Secure Future Initiative to address the escalating challenges in recent years. This initiative heavily relies on artificial intelligence and also advocates for international cyberspace norms.

The most practical aspect of this strategy involves enhancing Microsoft's software development and engineering practices. Microsoft's security executive, Charlie Bell, along with Scott Guthrie and Rajesh Jha, have outlined a plan to secure identity management systems in Microsoft products, improve security software development, and work on speedy response and patch release times especially for cloud vulnerabilities.

Microsoft's move comes as it faces increased scrutiny due to vulnerabilities in its products that have allowed cybercriminals and state-backed hackers to exploit both its systems and those of its customers.

Microsoft cites the rapid increase in threats from attackers as the reason for launching the Secure Future Initiative. Brad Smith, Microsoft's vice chair and president, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, "The threat is growing."

Microsoft estimates that global economic losses due to cybercrime and cyberattacks have exceeded $6 trillion and could reach $10 trillion by 2025. Microsoft plans to speed up vulnerability response times by 50% and move towards mandating secure default settings for customers to enhance security.

Charlie Bell believes that multi-factor authentication adoption should be universal among Microsoft customers. He also emphasizes the importance of staying ahead of the security threat and acknowledges that transitioning to the cloud and enhancing security is an ongoing process. Microsoft's role in supporting critical infrastructure makes it a key player in shaping global cybersecurity efforts.

While Microsoft is not the first to advocate for secure defaults, it plays a central role in global IT infrastructure. The company acknowledges the need to address security challenges comprehensively.


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