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Microsoft wants to secure all your clouds, including Amazon and Google

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 23, 2022

Microsoft is trying to bulk up its security business. Last year, the software giant acquired several smaller security firms.  (Dreamstime/Tribune News Service)
Microsoft is trying to bulk up its security business. Last year, the software giant acquired several smaller security firms. (Dreamstime/Tribune News Service)
By Dina Bass Bloomberg News

Microsoft Corp. is expanding its product for finding and monitoring security weak spots in cloud-computing to include rival Alphabet Inc.’s Google Cloud Platform.

Microsoft Defender for Cloud started including support for Google Cloud on Wednesday, three months after adding support for Amazon’s market leading products. Microsoft, which sells the rival Azure, used open programming interfaces to hook into its competitors’ products, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services and provide its cybersecurity services.

Customers increasingly use multiple cloud platforms and have different products to secure and monitor them. There are so many products from cybersecurity companies, as well as Microsoft, Amazon and Google, that it can be difficult for security professionals to keep track of them.

Hackers can target their attacks at the seams of different cybersecurity products, said Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft vice president of security, compliance and identity, in an interview. With damaging cyberattacks on the rise, Microsoft is hoping to make it simpler and better protect customers.

“Today most of our customers have AWS and they have Azure and they have Google Cloud and they have different workloads around and then they have security solutions which are native to each of these,” she said.

“Think about the security practitioners sitting in a Security Operations Center looking at these alerts in this pane of glass – they’re dealing with three if not more.”

While Microsoft didn’t work directly with its competitors to build the product, the company generally views security as an area where it wants to work with rivals to secure mutual customers, Jakkal said. In a recent Microsoft survey, 83% of business leaders listed “managing multicloud complexity as their biggest pain point in 2022.”

Microsoft is trying to bulk up its security software business along with tracking attacks and helping customers respond. Last year, the software giant acquired several smaller security firms, and the company said last month that it had amassed $15 billion in security software sales in 2021, up almost 45% from a year earlier. Microsoft last year named former Inc. cloud executive Charlie Bell to oversee its security efforts, and said it had 3,500 employees working to safeguard customers “from the chip to the cloud.”

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