Posted by: Jacqueline Beauchere, Director, Online Privacy and Safety
Before I go any further, I want to assure you that this is a legitimate Microsoft blog, and that I genuinely work for the company.
If you’ve received an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming association with Microsoft and offering technical support, or help with a security problem you didn’t know you had, I wouldn’t blame you for doubting me.
Unfortunately, in today’s day and age, a little suspicion is a good thing because increasingly devious, determined and resourceful criminals want to steal from you. Cash is what they really want, but personal information they can exploit for financial gain – that’ll do nicely, too, thank you.
Posted by Richard Saunders
For anyone who wants a primer on the security, privacy and reliability issues involved in the move to cloud computing, this video featuring Doug Cavit, principal security program manager and chief security strategist at Microsoft, is worth a watch.
Over the past 25 years there have been a number of major transitions that have changed everything when it comes to IT. Today, it’s the cloud.
Microsoft’s chief information security officer, Bret Arsenault, has been around for it all. While Bret is a leader at Microsoft, he shares a familiar perspective with Microsoft’s customers in managing risk across line-of-business applications and IT.
Bret says one thing has remained constant as the IT world has evolved: the need for information security. Regardless of the IT model du jour, companies still must ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of data in order to do business.
I was in London recently to deliver a keynote at the RSA Conference Europe. I spoke about many of the cloud topics I’m passionate about. Things such as balancing risk and potential when considering the cloud and how the cloud can make security updating more cost efficient for organizations. I also announced the findings of the latest version of Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report.
Tying these themes together, the underlying point to my keynote was that trust has been the constant imperative throughout history for a technology or radical idea to reach its true potential. The examples I gave were Copernicus’s heliocentric model for the universe, the camera and the telephone.
To see what I mean, please check out my presentation below and share your thoughts on trust and technology.
At the RSA 2011 conference in San Francisco, Microsoft Corporate VP Scott Charney discussed the concept of collective defense, in which the entire ecosystem of the Internet is secured under common standards — from servers, through the network, to applications, data and ultimately, people. This concept, of course, has profound implications for the cloud.
In his speech, Scott compares emerging online threats such as cybercrime and information espionage to epidemiology and the outbreak of human health problems such as the H1N1 virus.
Posted by: Brendon Lynch, Chief Privacy Officer
As we increasingly rely on technology for many aspects of our lives, the amount of data created continues to grow at an exponential rate. An important challenge for organizations is to provide privacy statements describing the collection, use and protection of data that are straightforward, yet comprehensive. Clarity and simplicity are key for time-pressed consumers, but large enterprises, governments, and other high-tech savvy individuals often need highly detailed information to use online services with confidence.
With each of these audiences in mind, we are unveiling initial improvements to the look and feel of many of our online privacy statements. We believe the changes enhance the appearance and functionality of our privacy statements, and enable us to more effectively layer important information. Our hope is that the changes will make privacy information easier to locate and use for many consumers.
Posted by: Tim Rains, director, Trustworthy Computing
After recording over 25 videos on various topics related to cloud security, privacy and reliability, the Trustworthy Computing Cloud Fundamentals Video Series has concluded. During the series I had the chance to talk to numerous Microsoft cloud subject matter experts and industry experts about topics and themes that are top of mind for customers. These topics were so diverse, interesting, and important and it was really a pleasure learning different perspectives from professionals across the IT ecosystem. Of course there are plenty of important topics that we didn’t cover in the series that Microsoft and industry experts are thinking about and working on.
I’d like to thank all of the experts, customers and partners that shared their experience and insights with us, as well as the production team that helped produce the videos and blogs. Finally, thanks to the many viewers of the series. It’s great to hear that so many people found these videos to be informative and useful. This last video in the series provides a recap of some of the highlights.
By Brendon Lynch, chief privacy officer, Microsoft
At Microsoft, we have some of the world’s top privacy researchers working on a wide variety of interesting challenges. We strive to translate this research into new privacy-enhancing technologies.
Today, we’re releasing a new whitepaper on Microsoft’s research in Differential Privacy written by Javier Salido on my team. To help set the stage, I’d like to provide some background on this timely topic.
Over the past few years, research has shown that ensuring the privacy of individuals in databases can be extremely difficult even after personally identifiable information (e.g., names, addresses and Social Security numbers) has been removed from these databases. According to researchers, this is because it is often possible, with enough effort, to correlate databases using information that is traditionally not considered identifiable. If any one of the correlated databases contains information that can be linked back to an individual, then information in the others may be link-able as well.
Still Running Windows XP? Upgrade Now to Reduce Security Risks
Posted by Adrienne Hall, general manager, Trustworthy Computing
As of April 8, 2014, customers and partners will no longer receive security updates for Windows XP, or get Microsoft tech support for Windows XP.
Without security updates, a PC running Windows XP will become more vulnerable to viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. If your business is currently running Windows XP, now is the time to consider upgrading to a modern operating system.
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Posted by: Adrienne Hall, General Manager, Trustworthy Computing
Any conversation I have with a customer that hasn't yet adopted a cloud service includes the topic of security at some point. It isn’t surprising that security frequently tops the list of cloud adoption items; yet I believe it should be on the list of top cloud adoption benefits.
A common area explored by organizations considering the cloud, small to mid-size businesses, or SMBs, often don’t have the built-in security expertise that larger entities do. This makes it difficult for them to spend time and expertise to assess the benefits of cloud computing.
In commissioning an independent study with groups of SMBs that both use and do not use cloud services in the U.S., Singapore, Malaysia, India and Hong Kong. We hoped to evaporate, okay – more realistically – lessen, concerns about security for prospective customers. Our goal was to see what, if any, security benefits companies that use the cloud realize, and to better understand the concerns of companies that have not yet adopted cloud services.