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ABB Automation & Power World 2015 – Cybersecurity in the evolving threat landscape

March 12th, 2015 No comments

In early March, I had the fortunate opportunity to speak at the ABB Automation & Power World 2015 conference in Houston, TX. This event is like a “Disneyland” for critical infrastructure providers (CIPs)!

This was my first time attending the bi-annual event and I was blown away by the innovative power and automation technologies that ABB and others had on display on the show floor—everything from electric cars to the latest in robotics.

ABB Event

Markus Braendle and Tim Rains being introduced at the ABB Automation & Power World 2015 event.

I was also impressed with the level of interest that so many CIPs had around cybersecurity and the adoption of cloud services. The general session I spoke to had a couple thousand people in attendance. During this lunchtime presentation, I spoke about the impact of cybersecurity in the ever-evolving threat landscape, and how we think the Internet will transform over the next 10 years. I showed the audience how the Microsoft Digital Crime Unit uses big data analytics to take down botnets, helping make the Internet a safer place for everyone, including CIPs. Markus Braendle, Group Head of Cyber Security at ABB, moderated audience questions and provided his own great industry insights. Questions around the threat landscape, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and risk management proved to me that cybersecurity is top of mind for this critical industry.

Key themes I heard from the audience during the session included:

  • How adopting cloud services increases the security protections for most organizations and helps them maintain compliance,
  • The security considerations for IoT,
  • How a risk-based management approach helps minimize the emotions that often accompanies security conversations,
  • Best practices for working with security researchers, and
  • Today’s attackers, their evolved motivations, and the difficulty of attribution.

Transparency & Trust in the Cloud Series: Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis

March 5th, 2015 No comments

Over the last few months, Microsoft has hosted a series of events to bring together Chief Information Officers (CIO) and their legal counsels, Chief Information Security Officers (CISO), as well as IT operations leaders from enterprises in cities across the US. These “Transparency & Trust in the Cloud” events aim to highlight and discuss the security, privacy, compliance, and transparency capabilities of Microsoft’s cloud services.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to attend and speak at those in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Minneapolis. I was also able speak directly with many enterprise customers in each city. I was joined by other Microsoft cloud subject matter experts, where together, we answered a range of technology, business process, and legal questions that attendees had—and believe me, they had some well-thought, complex questions!

For example, in Kansas City, attendees asked about service level agreements and were provided with the Microsoft perspective by our Assistant General Counsel, Dennis Garcia. In St. Louis, we were asked about Microsoft’s own journey to move workloads and applications from on premise to the cloud. Ryan Reed, from Microsoft IT, has been doing this work at Microsoft for some time, and shared architectural and development considerations with the audience. Enterprise customers in Minneapolis asked questions ranging from eDiscovery to security incident notifications, to the right to audit, to protecting sensitive healthcare information. These discussions are also extremely helpful to us, at Microsoft, to better understand which topics are top of mind for enterprise customers who are evaluating the use of or adopting cloud services.

I would like to again thank those customers who attended these events. Thank-you!

More meetings like these have been scheduled in different cities across the country. If you are a CIO, CISO, legal counsel, or operations leader for an enterprise organization and would like to learn more about the Microsoft approach to building the industry’s most trustworthy cloud, please reach out to your account team to inquire.

I’m looking forward to meeting more customers and having deeper discussions on trust and transparency in the cloud in the coming weeks.