Microsoft Aiming to Battle Big Crisis Going on in Cybersecurity Right Now: Wedge Has Been Fighting This Battle For a While…

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Yahoo!Finance recently brought to light the fact that Microsoft has now become one of the big players in cybersecurity. After seeing a 40% year-on-year jump in its growing security business (which totalled $10 billion over the past 12 months), it now makes up around 7% of the company’s total revenue for the previous year.  This revenue comes from Microsoft’s security-related services that now include such products as Azure Active Directory, Intune, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Microsoft Cloud App Security, etc. which make up what Microsoft calls its Intelligent Cloud and Productivity and Business Processes segments.

Microsoft has been quietly cobbling together and building these services for a while now, according to CEO Satya Nadella, who states that “…you need to sort of obviously build all of this over a period of years if not decades and then sustain it through not just product innovation, but also I would say, practice every day.”

The announcement of these numbers is not just a random release but come in light of the massive SolarWinds cyber-attack that was uncovered in December and which continues to cause further fallout after hitting various private companies along with a broad swath of government agencies, including Treasury, Commerce and State Departments in the United States and around the world.

According to a Reuters report, Microsoft itself had been hacked, although no customer data appeared to have been breached.  According to the US National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA), within its own organization, Microsoft’s Office 365 software had been hacked, which allowed intruders to monitor the agency’s emails for months.  Because of the extensive use of Microsoft products within the government, and because of the breadth of the security services it has started offering, many of these organizations that were hit started turning to Microsoft to determine the extent of the breaches and for advice on how to protect themselves.

As per Microsoft CEO Nadella, part of Microsoft’s strategy against cyber attacks is the incorporation of a “zero trust” architecture, meaning that the cybersecurity services are built to always function as though there has been a breach of some kind; taking more of a proactive approach to scanning for malware and other hacks going through the network.  This definitely provides a validation for Wedge as it has been incorporating this “zero trust” strategy into its product architecture from the beginning with its Deep Content Inspection technology that reassembles data packets back into MIME objects and then scanning these objects to see the full picture and “intent” of the content passing through.  It has further enhanced its offerings with the use of AI and Machine Learning in order to detect zero-day and previously unknown malware; proactively providing real-time threat PREVENTION.

The growing cybersecurity crisis has deepened over the past year, resulting from the Coronavirus Pandemic causing a massive uptick in companies shifting to a Work From Home (WFH) setup.  This has unfortunately introduced a new attack vector for hackers, who are doing their best to exploit it.  When workers are on their unprotected home networks, outside of the fortified corporate networks, it doesn’t take much to inadvertently click on something that could be malicious.  In the typical corporate network environment, something like this would be easily caught but in the home network that might not even have a simple firewall, these security breaches are greatly magnified.

Of course, the fact that there are a wide variety of different operating systems running the plethora of IoT devices out there does not make security any easier.  Although Microsoft security products provide some protection for devices running Microsoft, Apple and Google operating systems as well as devices running off competing clouds such as AWS and Google Cloud, the increasingly interconnected world will become even more difficult so secure because it becomes less about just protecting the devices with endpoint solutions and more about protecting the whole architecture that these devices connect to.  With cloud services growing at such a rapid rate, protecting end-customers connected to these services will become of paramount importance.

Which brings us back to Wedge and the cybersecurity fight that it has been battling almost since its inception.  Founded on a water treatment plant analogy where its founders felt that the best way to protect users was by cleaning the content at the source; this becomes ever increasingly important in the cloud connected world.  Through its Wedge Absolute Real-time Protection (WedgeARP) platform, the company has been building a platform that can orchestrate an ever-growing number of security services to scan content in real-time at the network layer.  By scanning the content itself, the platform is OS agnostic; able to protect endpoint devices regardless of the OS it is running on.  With patented hyper-streaming technologies and the integration of AI and machine learning, the platform is able to scan content in milliseconds, detecting known and even unknown malware, and then blocking it before the endpoint can be compromised – effectively providing the pro-active real-time threat PREVENTION that is much-needed by IoT devices everywhere.  The solution has been deployed in both service provider and corporate networks around the world, and protects millions of endpoints on a daily basis.

At the start of the pandemic, Wedge took the cyberthreats facing WFH users very seriously and further extended its product offering to help protect workers that had been forced from their fortified corporate office networks to work from their largely unprotected home office networks.  WedgeARP, which is offered through global reseller Ingram Micro as Secure Home Office, Secure Remote Office and Secure Azure Virtual WAN, and which can be run through Microsoft’s Azure cloud services, are just some of the solutions through which Wedge is helping to alleviate the cybersecurity crisis that is looming.  By helping to secure the attack vector that WFH opened up through these offerings, Wedge, as Microsoft is doing now, continues to place itself at the forefront of the larger global cybersecurity battle.  To learn more about WedgeARP and how it is being used to provide real-time threat prevention, contact our team at:  Using innovative approaches can help us hopefully avert the big cybersecurity crisis that is looming.

About Wedge Chief Scientist

Husam Kinawi, Chief Scientist Dr. Kinawi has a PhD and MSc in Computer Science from the Universities of Calgary, Canada and London, UK. In 1997, he co-founded Mpower Technologies Inc., a wireless telecommunications software company. In 1999, Dr. Kinawi co-founded (NASDAQ: AIQT), a Boston-based e-Business applications firm. Dr. Kinawi has over seventeen years of research and development experience working with industry leaders such as Newbridge (Alcatel), Siemens, United Technologies, and Apple in the areas of distributed information systems, embedded applications and wireless Internet solutions. Dr. Kinawi has also spoken at several major conferences, published several research papers, and is the holder of several patents in the area of mobile and wireless devices.
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