In an interview on the sidelines of the BlueHat cybersecurity conference held in Tel Aviv, Microsoft’s Vice President of Security, Bharat Shah, told Reuters that the company plans to continue its annual billion-dollar expenditure on cybersecurity research and development.
That’s important, but obvious, as one of the world’s leading provider of functional software, security matters. It matters even more at a time when Microsoft is trying to capture as much of the enterprise market as it possibly can.
The ‘over $1 billion’ figure is also exclusive of any acquisitions Microsoft makes in the security sector, per Shah. However, any operating costs for these acquired firms is likely to come from the billion dollars.
Acquisitions are a big part of Microsoft’s struggle of being a step ahead of everyone; in the past two years, Microsoft has acquired three security firms in Israel alone. Aorato, Adallom, and Secure Islands; Microsoft’s Azure cloud service today relies on many of the technologies acquired from these firms.
Azure – by the way – plays an important role in Microsoft’s vision of the future. Azure Compute usage more than doubled with revenues increasing by 95%, per the Q2 FY17 report published yesterday. “As more people use [the] cloud, that spending has to go up,” says Shah referring to the cyber security research expenditure.
According to Microsoft’s data, there were over 20,000 attempted cyber-attacks per week – three years ago; that figure is dwarfed today by over 600,000 cyber-attacks per week.
A billion dollars is a lot of money. It, however, pales in comparison to the embarrassment and market value loss that Microsoft would suffer if its services were vulnerable. Yahoo, is a great example of a stagnant technology company.
Microsoft is one step ahead of everyone that wants to do bad things – and it must maintain its position. A billion dollars is a lot of money, but a secure service is worth a lot of money too.