Microsoft chief Satya Nadella has talked up his new "holistic" approach to cybersecurity, an issue he described as one of the "most pressing" of our time.
Speaking at a Washington DC event last night, Nadella (pictured) delivered a keynote speech which featured demonstrations from Julia White, Microsoft's chief marketing officer.
Microsoft claims to spend $1bn (£657m) on cybersecurity every year and Nadella and White outlined a number of new updates he claims will make products more secure.
He said cybersecurity is an essential priority for the whole technology industry.
"Customers are not going to use this technology if they can't trust it," he declared.
He said Microsoft is taking a "principled approach" to its security strategy, which consists of four pillars: ensuring data is private and under users' control; managing data in accordance with local laws; being transparent about the collection of data and the uses of data; and ensuring all data is secure.
"Even just 2015 has been a tough year around cybersecurity," he said. "Just the top eight or so data breaches have led to 160 million data records being compromised.
"In fact, one of the biggest challenges we all face is the time to detect an intrusion; it's something like 229 days between when you have been intruded and when you know and you can start to respond.
"The cost of all this in terms of lost productivity and lost growth really adds up. It's estimated that it's something like $3tn. Now, in a global economy that is challenged for growth, this is really a huge issue for all of us collectively."
Windows 10 Passport and Windows Hello now use "strong biometrics", eliminating the need for passwords. White said the fact the new technology can replace passwords – rather than act as an extra layer of security – is a "very big deal". Its Credential Guard protection will prevent so-called hash-attacks, where a hacker uses one account to gain access to another, Microsoft said.
Also among the product updates is the Azure Active Directory, which is designed to simplify password and identity management for the IT department and individual users.
Nadella said the product updates are part of Microsoft's "new approach" to security, which the company branded "holistic [and] agile".
"So the approach we are taking has three key elements to it," he said. "The first is building out a comprehensive platform for you to be able to run that loop from protection to detection to response.
"Second, we complement that with this intelligence fabric that we have, and this operational security posture that we have, as well as a set of proactive and reactive services that we will have in the field so we can help secure your environment on a continuous basis.
"And lastly, it is about partnering broadly; partnering with the rest of the IT industry, because we know we don't live in isolation – you all have a heterogeneous environment, and we need to operate within it."
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