Microsoft and Security: Customers! Do Better

November 7, 2022

I have a hunch that cyber security is like Google in the early 2000s. Magic, distractions, and blather helped disguise the firm’s systems and methods for generating revenue. Now (November 4, 2022) the cyber security sector may be taking a page or two from the early Google game plan. Who can blame the cyber security vendors, all 3000 to 7000 of them in the US alone. The variance is a result of the methodology of the business analysts answering the question, “How many companies are chasing commercial, non profit, and government prospects. Either number makes it clear that cyber security is a very big business.

Now stick with me: What operating system and office software is used by about two thirds of the organizations in the United States. The answer, if I can believe the data from my research team, is close enough for horse shoes. Personally, I would peg the penetration of Microsoft software at closer to 90 percent, but let’s go with the 67 percent, plus or minus five percent. That means that cyber security vendors have to provide security for companies already obtaining allegedly secure software and services from Microsoft.

With cyber crime, breaches, zero days, etc, etc going up with dizzying speed, what’s the message I carry away? The answer is, “Cyber security is not working.”

I read “Microsoft Warns Businesses to Up Their Security Game against These Top Threats.” The article then identifies security as a problem. The solution, if I understand the article, is:

Microsoft suggests throughout the MDDR that organizations implement a number of its products into its tech stack to protect against and deal with threats, such as its Security Service Line for support throughout a ransomware attack, and Microsoft Defender for Endpoint for cloud-based protection.

If you are not familiar with MDDR the acronym stands for the Microsoft Digital Defense Report. Presumably Microsoft’s crack security experts and the best available cyber consultants crafted the methods summarized in the article.

The irony is that Microsoft’s own products and services create a large attack surface. Microsoft’s own security tools seem to have chinks, cracks, and gaps which assorted bad actors can exploit.

Net net: Perhaps Microsoft should do security better. Aren’t customers buying solutions which work and do in a way that protects business information and processes? Perhaps less writing about security and more doing security could be helpful?

Stephen E Arnold, November 7, 2022


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