AI and cybersecurity: Microsoft's strategy for the digital era
Now Reading
AI and cybersecurity: Microsoft’s strategy for the digital era

AI and cybersecurity: Microsoft’s strategy for the digital era

Microsoft’s approach to cybersecurity combines advanced AI, integrated security solutions, and a focus on compliance and flexibility

Marisha Singh
Ahmad El Dandachi - microsoft

In the rapidly evolving landscape of cybersecurity, Microsoft is at the forefront, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to address complex challenges. From investing in OpenAI to tying up with Abu Dhabi-based G42, the tech giant is ensuring it is at the forefront of the global AI revolution.

Ahmad al Dandachi, enterprise commercial director at Microsoft, provides insights into how customer needs have transformed and how Microsoft is responding with innovative solutions.

Evolving needs in cybersecurity

Al Dandachi notes a significant shift in customer awareness and demands over the past few years. “Everyone starts understanding that security is becoming a very complex issue,” he explains. The advent of cloud computing and AI technologies has added layers of complexity to data security, making traditional on-premise security measures insufficient.

Microsoft has been integrating AI into its security products for over a decade.

Al Dandachi highlights this progression: “We started to use AI engines in our products more than 10 years ago, and now we are bringing AI from backbone to front end to let customers talk to our security system.” This integration allows for a more user-friendly approach, enabling system administrators to query security vulnerabilities directly and receive clear, actionable information.

“For example, administrators can ask their system about a specific vulnerability, such as CVE number 2005376, and the system will analyse the infrastructure, check for relevant patches, and provide a straightforward response. This capability significantly simplifies the process of managing and monitoring security,” he explains.

Addressing fragmented security solutions

Many organisations face the challenge of managing a “zoo of technologies”—a collection of the best individual security solutions that do not communicate effectively with each other.

Al Dandachi points out that this fragmentation can leave systems vulnerable: “If something happens on your endpoint and your cloud posture doesn’t know what’s happened, it might be a breach for an attacker to get into the organisation.”

Microsoft’s solution is a comprehensive, platform-based approach. “We cover approximately 97 to 98 percent of the overall security needs of the customers,” Al Dandachi states. This integrated system ensures that if a device is affected by a threat like ransomware, all other devices and systems in the network are immediately informed and secured.

This approach ties up with the focus on flexibility which is crucial in the modern cybersecurity landscape, especially, as organisations migrate their applications to the cloud.

Microsoft provides technologies that ensure consistent security across different environments. “It doesn’t matter where your workload is today. We can give you a technology that today it’s on premise, tomorrow you move it to Amazon,” says Al Dandachi. This seamless transition ensures that security policies remain intact across all platforms.

Compliance with local regulations is another critical aspect of Microsoft’s strategy.

Al Dandachi explains how Microsoft addresses data residency laws, such as those in the UAE: “Our technology is being landed in Hawaii in autumn last year, which we call Infinity Portal. It means that, for example, if we do a security of your email, then we process the data on the territory of Hawaii, and it’s not leaving the premises.” This approach ensures that customers meet government regulations while maintaining robust security.

An AI-driven future

Looking ahead, Al Dandachi anticipates increased government oversight and regulation in cybersecurity. “The compliance and governance from the government of their security will only increase,” he predicts. Governments will want to ensure that their systems remain secure against geopolitical threats and that sensitive data is stored within national borders.

Microsoft’s approach to cybersecurity combines advanced AI, integrated security solutions, and a focus on compliance and flexibility.

By addressing the complexities of modern security challenges, Microsoft aims to provide its customers with clear visibility and robust protection in a hybrid environment. As Al Dandachi sums up, “We create the system that allows you first to have clear visibility, second flexibility in this hybrid environment, and this is what we are aiming to provide.”

Read: Microsoft invests $1.5bn in UAE’s G42 to power AI adoption

You might also like


Scroll To Top