Don’t Want to End Up Like Equifax After a Security Breach? Microsoft Might Be Able to Rescue You!

Rafia Shaikh
windows xp apps microsoft security breach
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Equifax security breach resulted in the leak of sensitive and private information of hundreds of millions of Americans, but it also made clear that businesses need to start putting some efforts into their cybersecurity strategy. Post-breach, Equifax executives not only sold their stocks before revealing the breach publicly, but it turned out the company that had advertised itself for securing credit information of millions had been bad at patching things up for years. Not to forget, using the genius admin/admin username/password combination for their servers.

But, what should an organization do when caught up in such a mess? For one, start hiring more people in security than in marketing before such a cyberattack or a security breach happens, as a Google security chief said "everyone is going to get hacked". But there often are a number of bureaucratic reasons why the right kind of talent rarely gets to the top of an organization or a department. At least one technology company understands your dilemma of dealing with a cyberattack the right way.

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Microsoft to help businesses after a cyberattack

Microsoft is now making it easier for your staff to keep up with basic security best practices. The company is planning to launch a potentially game-changing security feature for its enterprise consumers that will be rolled out as part of its Windows Defender program.

The tool will essentially automate a series of steps that a security professional should do in response to a security breach. Rob Lefferts, head of security for Windows at Microsoft told Fortune that it's not only about finding "the bad guys and breaches, but fix them."

"A lot of simple, straight-forward tasks are fully automated so that people can focus on more complex and strategic things."

He added that while cyberattacks mostly require humans to plan a way out, machines could be used for automatically responding to lesser attacks, which mostly are "fairly cookie cutter."

These responses will include some basic diagnosis and actions, including:

  • Determining the type of attack
  • Isolating other affected machines
  • Deleting malicious software
  • Reformatting hard drives, if necessary
  • Reinstalling operating systems, if required

The security response tool will be released at the end of this year, packaged with Windows Defender's Advanced Threat Protection. Microsoft is apparently using the technology that was initially created by a company called Hexadite that the Redmond software giant had acquired for a reported $100 million earlier this year.

While these automated solutions may not help with some basic advice like not to sell your stocks before publicly revealing a security breach, it might just help you with changing your passwords.

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