Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud Security //

Azure

5/25/2017
04:45 AM
Curtis Franklin
Curtis Franklin
Curt Franklin
50%
50%

Microsoft Buys Hexadite for Security Automation

Microsoft's latest acquisition appears to be Hexadite, raising the question: What would more cloud security automation mean for your organization?

When things get too complicated and move too fast for humans to handle, system designers are left with a couple of options. One is to slow things down, throwing so much process-oriented sand into the system that people can watch things happen around the slowly grinding gears and throw the switches and levers to enact security decisions. This is common and almost always a bad solution.

The other option is to make the system itself so smart that it can make most decisions on its own without slowing things down at all. Of course, to do this properly you need to gather as much information as possible to feed into that decision-making process. And the two pieces of this are behind a pair of acquisitions Microsoft has announced to beef up its machine-to-machine intelligence operations.

First came the announcement that Microsoft is buying Cloudyn, a small startup that has software that monitors and manages cloud storage across a wide range of public and private cloud architectures. Now, a month later, Microsoft has gone after Hexadite, a company that specializes in security automation, according to a report in Calcalist.

Because we're talking about Microsoft, neither of these acquisitions (or, since they haven't been finalized, potential acquisitions) can be considered in a vacuum. In the last 18 months, Microsoft has also acquired Metanautix (in the big data analytics field) and Maluuba (an AI company). Now, Microsoft has also bought several other companies in the same time, but it doesn't take the world's best business analyst to see that Microsoft wants to make the Azure cloud faster, more easily managed, and more secure.

At Gartner Symposium in 2017, a speaker pointed out a significant change in the relationship between human operators and machine intelligence for critical systems. A couple of years ago, human analysts made the critical systems decisions though they had machine intelligence to mark the edges of allowable behavior and act as circuit breakers if things went wrong. Now, we trust machine intelligence to make the vast majority of decisions, with human beings backing up the machines in cases where conditions go wildly out of spec.

At this point, no one knows whether the acquisitions of Cloudyn and Hexadite (assuming they are completed) will result in the two companies remaining alive as discrete organizations living in Microsoft's powerful ecosystem, or if both will be assimilated by the Redmond collective. Either way, it's obvious that Microsoft is eager to be at the center of the cloud computing world, even if the majority of that world is something other than Azure. Gathering companies like these into the fold would allow Microsoft to make rapid response services available to customers across security and incident management areas.

Watch this space for more as Microsoft's strategy plays out through acquisitions. If the recent pace is any indication, more should be coming in the third quarter -- and if economic conditions change for the worse, look for Microsoft and other companies with deep pockets to take advantage of the situation to bulk up their IP portfolios at bargain prices.

— Curtis Franklin is the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @kg4gwa.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7029
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability was discovered in the System Management Interface Web component of Avaya Aura Communication Manager and Avaya Aura Messaging. This vulnerability could allow an unauthenticated remote attacker to perform Web administration actions with the privileged ...
CVE-2020-17489
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
An issue was discovered in certain configurations of GNOME gnome-shell through 3.36.4. When logging out of an account, the password box from the login dialog reappears with the password still visible. If the user had decided to have the password shown in cleartext at login time, it is then visible f...
CVE-2020-17495
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
django-celery-results through 1.2.1 stores task results in the database. Among the data it stores are the variables passed into the tasks. The variables may contain sensitive cleartext information that does not belong unencrypted in the database.
CVE-2020-0260
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
There is a possible out of bounds read due to an incorrect bounds check.Product: AndroidVersions: Android SoCAndroid ID: A-152225183
CVE-2020-16170
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
The Temi application 1.3.3 through 1.3.7931 for Android has hard-coded credentials.