Technology companies around the world, from SMEs to heavyweights, are all feeling pressure to prove the security of their software. Maybe it’s because of the recent network breaches that have occurred to big UK businesses, such as the TalkTalk scandal. Or perhaps a result of the rumoured cyber-attacks suspected to follow the terror events lasr month. Recent statistics show 44% of all UK consumers have been subject to a technology breach at some point in their lives: clearly, we’re approaching a state of crisis. At the Microsoft security conference last month, CEO Satya Nadella took to the stage to examine exactly how- and why- you need to keep your tech safe.

Nadella placed particular emphasis on how ‘Trust is at the core’ of all digital technology, pointing out that digital technology is embedded into every industry and sector of the modern age. He also discussed how detrimental security breaches are to the industry, claiming $3 million dollars are lost every year- and citing the reason for this is that it takes on average 229 days to detect an intrusion. The tech we use needs to start advancing quickly.

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At the Microsoft security conference, Nadella outlined the 4 strong commitments the company holds with regards to any data you put in their hands:

  • Data must be kept private and under your control.
  • Data must be managed in accordance with the law of the land.
  • Microsoft must be transparent about the collection and use of data.
  • Data must be secure.

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All are good pillars of a secure and supported data system- but more convincing was the demonstration of security on Microsoft’s devices. First up to be shown was Windows Hello, a system working so quickly you had to pay attention to keep up. When paired with Azure active directory, you can pre-configure which apps require more authentication- for instance, certain apps can be configured to call your phone, so your account has double the security. These steps are a bid to move away from passwords entirely, to more bio-metric and multi-authentication procedures.

Microsoft also acknowledged that a great deal of security breaches come not from direct attacks on your network, but from subtler phishing attempts. Would-be hackers are getting smarter by the day, and the ability they have to make their content appear genuine is astounding. By using hardware-based virtualisation, however, your Microsoft devices have a thorough protection from malware. Opening a ‘bad’ email link, for instance, places it in a chamber be analysed, warning you that the link is not to be trusted. Is occurs similarly with apps- if the application you attempt to download isn’t signed by a trusted authority, it’s blocked.

BYOB also got a special mention on the security front- it’s a big concern for business owners to allow staff to use their personal devices for business use. By using Microsoft Intune as a cloud service, your IT department can define the permissions on each device, so it’s up to you to decide what is and isn’t appropriate for company use. This was even demonstrated on an iPhone- so you can have secure devices, no matter what make! This is infrastructure level detection. Azure security centre gives you a central overview of all the security in your environment, with live security, so you can detect breaches just as they happen.

We’re experiencing new threats at ridiculous speed, and they’re coming from everywhere. If the Microsoft security conference taught us anything, it’s that no matter where you’re buying your tech- or how you’re using it- you have to make sure it’s safe.