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Microsoft’s cybersecurity strategy is to fight fire with fire Microsoft’s cybersecurity strategy is to fight fire with fire
Knowing how a hacker might attack your software is the key to making it as hack-proof as possible. Microsoft’s cybersecurity strategy is to fight fire with fire

In the same way that thinking like a criminal is a great way to discover how best to secure your home, knowing how a hacker would attack your software is the key to making it as hack-proof as possible.

As odd as it might seem, this is actually exactly Microsoft’s approach to securing their software: fighting fire with fire.

In a recent press release, the company detailed how it uses hackers to attack every product in Microsoft’s stack, in order to expose vulnerabilities early and figure out how best to address them.

A crack commando unit

Instead of basement-dwelling code nerds sourced from the wilds of the internet, Microsoft has assembled a team of experienced security experts, and directed them to “role play” as hackers. These people, dubbed “The Red Team”, are paid to “hack” Microsoft’s software and operating systems to see where and how hackers are most likely to attack them.

Says Microsoft in the press release, “It’s a strategy that’s proved very successful. During its first year alone, the Red Team’s work predicted zero-day threats and blocked attacks by the world’s most advanced attackers, including nation states.

“Their work is the reason why Windows 10 and its apps have blocked some unprecedented attacks by leading hacking groups.”

This good work goes hand in hand with Microsoft’s approach in recent years to build trust with its customers to give them the confidence that Microsoft’s various software offerings are as secure as it’s possible to make them.

Cyberattacks cost business revenue

That’s important, as almost half of the successful cyberattacks on businesses in 2018 cost more than $500,000 in of damages, and Africa’s digital economy is only going to grow. Experts predict that, thanks to emerging technologies like the Internet of Things and the increasing adoption of services from the cloud, the digital portion of Africa’s economy will be worth around $325bn by 2025.

This means the attack surface across the continent is going to expand dramatically in the coming years, giving cybercriminals plenty of targets to take aim at.

Building resistance

It’s for this reason that Microsoft has been working hard to make sure the products it puts in the hands of end users and businesses of all sizes are as resistant as possible to the nefarious intentions of the cybercriminal underworld.

And because not every business can afford to employ someone in-house to handle cybersecurity, it’s more important than ever that business IT systems and software are as bulletproof as they can be before they’re put into service.

Which is exactly what Microsoft’s use of its Red Team aims to achieve.

Talk to us

If you’d like to talk to one of Tarsus Distribution’s Microsoft experts about deploying Microsoft software inside your or your clients’ business, give us a call on 011 531 1000.

Or you can speak to your account manager, they’ll put you in touch with the right people to sit down with to have a good hard look at your or your clients’ cybersecurity situation.

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