May 7, 2024 - News

Microsoft cracks down on security after attacks

In this photo illustration, the Microsoft Corporation logo is displayed on a smartphone screen.

Photo Illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Microsoft is overhauling its entire production line to prioritize cybersecurity and incorporate recommendations from a recent government investigation, the company's top security executive said last week.

Why it matters: Microsoft has come under fire in recent months after a wave of nation-state attacks targeted the company's products, resulting in Chinese and Russian spies accessing email inboxes tied to a cabinet secretary and senior Microsoft executives.

  • A government board has said the incidents could've been prevented.

The bottom line: All Microsoft user accounts will soon have multi-factor authentication by default.

Driving the news: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent a memo to employees Friday detailing the new approach, according to The Verge.

  • "If you're faced with the tradeoff between security and another priority, your answer is clear: Do security," Nadella wrote in the memo.

What's next: Government officials will be watching closely to see how well Microsoft's new principles are implemented.

  • "Of course, the proof will be in the pudding," said Jen Easterly, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

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