Microsoft Progress Report: Security

Malicious software code has been around for decades. But only in the last few years have the Internet, high-speed connections and millions of new computing devices converged to create a truly global computing network in which a virus or worm can circle the world in a matter of minutes.

Meanwhile, criminal hackers have become more sophisticated, creating and distributing digital epidemics like Slammer, Blaster, Sobig and Mydoom that spread almost instantaneously, threatening the potential of technology to advance business productivity, commerce and communication.

The kinds of threats are evolving too. Blaster, for example, hijacked individual computers, turning innocent users into unknowing and innocent worm propagators. These kinds of attacks – “swarming” attacks that are coordinated to cause multiplied, cascading effects – change the landscape of security threats. They put new demands on IT professionals and consumers to take preventative measures, and on the technology industry to continue to innovate and develop new solutions.

While there are considerable challenges ahead, Microsoft and our industry are making significant progress on the security front. I’d like to offer some insights into Microsoft’s significant investments in four areas of security:

  • Isolation and Resiliency
  • Updating
  • Quality
  • Authentication and Access Control

Additionally, we are committed to major investments in customer education and partnerships that will help make the computing environment safer and more secure.

Given human nature, evolving threat models and the increasing interconnectedness of computers, the number of security exploits will never reach zero. But we can dramatically blunt the impact of cybercriminals, and are dedicating a major portion of our R&D investments to security advances.

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