Microsoft has started offering free cybersecurity tools to government and commercial customers.
The tech giant made this decision after facing negative criticism in its address concerned with an alleged hacker attack, as a result of which the e-mail accounts of the American government were compromised.
Since September of this year, Microsoft cloud computing users will not pay an additional fee for access to data related to the category of critical information. The media were the first to report on the change in the corporate policy of the technology giant.
US officials stated that representatives of the cybersecurity service, in the framework of private communication, told Microsoft that they were disappointed with the company’s insufficient efforts to identify the actions of Chinese hackers of espionage in the virtual space. The campaign of Asian cybercriminals affected more than 25 organizations. A massive hacker attack became known last week. The State Department said it recorded criminal activity in June and passed information about it to Microsoft.
During the hacker attack, the email accounts of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and State Department officials were hacked. This information was reported by the media.
The cybersecurity company Volexity stated that as a result of the hackers’ actions, a human rights organization suffered, which could not record criminal activity, because it did not pay for a license for premium software.
Experts say that electronic logs or computer files containing information about hacking are of primary importance for understanding and preventing cyber attacks. Until now, Microsoft’s business strategy has provided for paid access to arrays of this data.
Analysts say that the decision of the technology giant to provide access to virtual security tools can increase the level of protection of users in the digital dimension. Separately, they note that the company has many customers around the world and owns significant amounts of information. This means that the decision of the technology giant is likely to have global consequences.
Sean Koessel, vice president of Volexity, said that free cybersecurity tools will allow incident response teams in the virtual space to conduct deeper investigations regardless of their license level. He also noted that the decision of the technology giant is long overdue.
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security, said its investigations were also hampered by a lack of access to critical information, for which Microsoft charges a fee. The director of this agency, Jen Easterly, said that the issue of providing free tools had been discussed with the technology giant for a year.
As we have reported earlier, Google, Microsoft and OpenAI Limit AI Tools in Hong Kong.