Microsoft is set to acquire a cyber security company, Hexadite, this year. Hexadite has developed a program that automatically responds to alerts without need for human involvement, so that cyber threats can be mitigated faster.
Microsoft is the creator of Microsoft Windows, the most common operating system in the world. The company also produces the Microsoft Office Suite, which includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. According to Microsoft, there are 1.5 billion users of Windows and 1.2 billion users of Office.
That’s a lot of customers for one company, especially considering that many of those computers had known vulnerabilities to hackers after an NSA leak, which led to a massive ransomware attack.
Microsoft isn’t about to let that happen again to their customers. Reports from TechCrunch, Reuters, BusinessInsider, and others state that Microsoft is purportedly purchasing Hexadite, an Israel-based security startup. Of course, Microsoft is a huge company, and acquisitions are commonplace. However, the $100 million price tag and rapid deal brokering indicate a larger picture than a typical buyout.
So what is Hexadite, and why is it important to Microsoft? Hexadite is a cyber security company. It uses a proprietary artificial intelligence software, Hexadite Automated Incident Response Solution (AIRStm), to respond and mitigate cyber threats automatically, leaving larger and more advanced threats to be tackled by dedicated cyber security analysts. This allows for small attacks to be handled any time of day, as quickly as possible. It also allows for a more dedicated human response when required on larger attacks, or on certain clients.
It works by feeding off alerts, from email, Syslog, or APIs, and integration with security detection tools. Once an alert is identified, it investigates each potential threat, evaluates, and remediates Actually those are the exact words used to describe the AI process, found on their website. As for compatibility, Hexadite can integrate with a plethora of antivirus software, endpoint protection software, and can integrate with networks and web gateways to detect threats earlier. It can quarantine files, block IPs, kill processes, and more, and do it all automatically, without human intervention.
Microsoft most likely acquired this company because it is looking to expand its security horizons, especially in the aftermath of the WannaCry ransomware attacks, a new solution to try and better respond to future threats, and better protect their customers and the reputation of their software. With Microsoft’s expanding entry into the cloud industry, they need security that is integrable with their cloud solutions.
Although it’s unclear whether the acquisition is merely for investment and profit, or for absorption as a Microsoft product, it is definitely clear that cyber security is now a major player in the tech industry, and is a need for any company with any sort of internet presence.
Don’t count on Microsoft taking care of your system for you. The best thing you can do is be proactive in searching out ways to better protect your company’s valuable data. And the possibilities are endless. Passwords, antivirus, firewalls; these are just a few things to look at for any single computer. For an enterprise solution, investigate your hosting company. Test your network security. Hire a security analyst. You might not go out and purchase a cyber security company, but you should whatever you need to do to keep your company safe. Find out how here.