Microsoft has been in the fifth gear lately when it comes to security – the company has been trying to gain the trust of local governments around the world, especially since the American government started losing it.
The Cybersecurity Engagement Centre is meant to help Microsoft build deeper collaboration efforts with public and private sector companies and organisations. It makes sense then, to build it in the capital of India.
The new Centre is the seventh to open globally, but the first to open in India; Microsoft ran a year-long pilot before opening this centre in India – so it’s not going in blind here. The timing itself is impeccable – right after over three million Indian debit cards were compromised in an unexplained (for now) security breach.
“We believe the security of critical information is imperative for our corporate customers, just as it is vital to ensure security and privacy of citizen data and transactions. Our first investment towards this was setting up our local data centres in India, and the Cybersecurity Engagement Centre is the second, ” Bhaskar Pramanik – Microsoft India’s Chairman, told the reporters at the opening event.
Microsoft also has a Digital Crimes Unit at its main Redmond HQ in Washington – the Cybersecurity Engagement Centres around the globe are supposed to work in conjunction with the DCU at Microsoft HQ and help governments and companies figure out the best security solutions for them while assisting in the investigation of local cyber security threats as well.
Microsoft will also be providing security consultancy services via a dedicated India-based response team as part of Microsoft Consultancy Services.
The CSEC has been active in India for the past 12 months running a trial – during which, it has met with over 100 different organisations to figure out the issues that plague them.
In a statement, Microsoft says that its “team observed three common IT issues plaguing them that include unmanaged and unregulated IT assets usage, procurement and maintenance, poor knowledge of cyber hygiene among users within organisations and an inability of companies to timely monitor, detect and remove cyber threats.”
Security is worth at least as much as the object its securing – in the case of cybersecurity, it could mean the price of a whole economy during the worst-case-scenario. Therefore, it is in everybody’s interest to take security seriously; Microsoft itself spends over a billion dollars every year on just security research, innovation and development.
The billion dollars does not include everything else that Microsoft does to make sure its enterprise customers are secure. Initiatives such as the DCU and CSEC aren’t just limited to Microsoft’s clients either – these centres help improve tech security around the local sphere of industries.
Having local on-site access to professional security consultancy from one of the biggest security providers in the world is something that can save companies millions by itself if used appropriately.
Trust is everything
Microsoft has been losing trust – not because of its actions, but because of the American government’s actions. The Russians are – as expected – getting as far away from American technology companies as they can.
However, Microsoft hasn’t been slacking – the new data centres in the UK are built for the British government to use, and France is getting a few data centres of its own as well. The laws are pretty clear about this – if the data never leaves its origin country, then nobody except its origin country has jurisdiction over it; Microsoft is only making sure (and making promises) that this data is secure and private.
To gain trust, Microsoft is also opening Transparency Centres around the world – the latest being in Beijing – where the company shares their actual source code with governments, to gain their trust.