Bloomberg quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Microsoft has internally agreed to the acquisition of network security software maker RiskIQ, which is expected to be officially announced in the next few days. As cyber attacks become more frequent, major technology giants are also expanding their spending on cyber security to better serve customers.
Why is RiskIQ valued by Microsoft?
According to sources, Microsoft will pay $500 million in cash to acquire RiskIQ. In the layout of Microsoft’s security ecosystem, the acquisition of RiskIQ is only a small part.
Microsoft’s approach to security is unique in the entire industry. Considering Microsoft’s large number of users and important Windows systems, Microsoft’s investment in network security has always been at the forefront of the industry. Vasu Jakkal, vice president of Microsoft’s security business line, said that Microsoft has two super-powerful capabilities, namely integrated comprehensive capabilities and extremely strong AI automation capabilities.
Through machine learning and AI technology, as well as the wisdom of professionals, Microsoft needs to collect and process more than 8 trillion Security Signals every day. In 2020, the terminal software Defender alone intercepted nearly 6 billion malicious threats, protecting 400,000+ customers in 120 countries around the world.
The addition of RiskIQ is of great significance for Microsoft to expand the scale of network security products. RiskIQ, headquartered in San Francisco, was founded in 2009 and has successfully won important customers such as Facebook, BMW , American Express, and the United States Postal Service in more than a decade of operation .
Currently RiskIQ main product is to help users detect security threats to cloud software pieces, these products can help customers monitor network and device vulnerabilities and how to network attack, in addition to traditional companies, many technology companies are also Internet Customers of RiskIQ.
In recent years, RiskIQ’s “Evil Inernet Minute” security annual report has been well-known in the industry. It has previously received US$83 million investment from private equity Summit Partners and Battery. This acquisition will enhance Microsoft’s product security capabilities.
Heavy money to create a safe use environment
Data shows that Microsoft has always been the institution that has suffered the most cyber attacks. Its systems and data centers all over the world have been the main targets of hacker attacks.
As the work model of most companies around the world gradually shifts to mobile devices and cloud access, data and applications will be stored and processed more in the cloud, and the security boundaries will become more blurred. In the era of cloud and Internet of Things, Microsoft must not only ensure the security of the Microsoft system platform, but also assist customers in protecting the security of their information in other products and ecosystems. This is a huge challenge for Microsoft’s security department.
In Microsoft’s system, products such as Windows and Azure cloud services are the most vulnerable businesses to network attacks, and Microsoft has been adding security features to such products.
In 2020, Microsoft has 2.5 billion cloud-based detections every day and blocked nearly 6 million endpoint threats. Among them, Microsoft Defender blocked more than 30 billion threats from e-mail, and used Azure Active Directory to process more than 30 billion identity verifications for 425 million people every day.
Last month, Microsoft also acquired ReFirm Labs, a technology manufacturer that ensures the security of Internet of Things devices. Microsoft’s acquisition of such security startups has been common in the past years. It is these moves that have built the current Microsoft Security department with up to 3,500 employees.
Opportunities and challenges coexist
Some time ago, rampant hackers attacked many large companies in the United States, India and other countries, and even super multinational companies. It seems that cyber attacks have become the norm in the news this year.
In May of this year, a group of hackers who only “debuted” in August last year hijacked the fuel pipeline transportation management system of an American company, claiming that they “will not give money to people”. This action directly led to the 8,800 kilometers of gasoline transportation on the east coast of the United States.” The main artery was paralyzed, and the capital Washington and the 17 eastern states all entered a state of emergency. In addition, the world-renowned computer manufacturer Acer also encountered REvil ransomware attacks. Hackers used multiple unknown vulnerabilities in Kaseya’s IT management software to launch large-scale ransomware attacks, causing a lot of economic losses.
Including Microsoft, a large number of technology giants and government agencies are struggling to respond to a series of destructive and widespread cyber attacks, focusing on enhancing the security of their products and services.
In the face of cyber attacks, Microsoft’s ever-expanding security business has also brought huge revenue to it. Currently, 90 of the Fortune 100 companies use at least four security, compliance, identity and management tools from Microsoft. Microsoft announced at the beginning of this year that its security business will generate more than $10 billion in revenue in 2020, a year-on-year increase of more than 40%. Even the world’s well-known network security vendors, in the face of Microsoft’s security business with annual revenue of more than 10 billion US dollars, this is not the case.
Although Microsoft’s achievements in network security are largely due to its own business characteristics, it is more about good security organization management and heavy capital investment. In order to provide a more secure network environment, Microsoft invests US$1 billion each year. For security research and development, these have made Microsoft extremely competitive in services and technology.
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