Microsoft launches cybersecurity services amid talent shortage

Microsoft Security, Compliance, Identity & Management Business CVP Vasu Jakkal joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the launch of Microsoft’s security services as companies grapple with a shortage of cybersecurity talent.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, cybersecurity remains one of the top threats to the country. And with 2 and 1/2 million open jobs in the field of cyber defense, Microsoft wants their customers to be prepared for everything. The company is launching its latest service, the Microsoft Security Experts, today to help clients navigate evolving cyber threats. Let's bring in Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Security Compliance Identity Management Business. Good to talk to you today. Talk to me about this service.

VASU JAKKAL: Hi, Akiko. It's great to be here with you. Thank you so much for having us. Before I get to the service, let me talk about the two driving forces that have really helped us shape this, and you talked to it before. The first one is the incredibly complex and frequent threat landscape that we're seeing. Customers are dealing with this frequency, the sophistication in cyber crime, whether it's across nation state or ransomware today. In fact, Microsoft security is tracking more than 35 ransomware groups and 215 unique threat actors across the board.

Then you take that, and you augment that with the skills gap and the incredible talent shortage that we're seeing-- that we're seeing today. Nearly one in every three jobs, Akiko, in the US in cybersecurity is unfulfilled. We have 2.5 million security jobs that are currently vacant. And all this is causing millions and trillions of dollars of cybercrime impact. In fact, cybercrime is predicted to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion just a decade ago.

So given these two driving forces, our customers and organizations across the world, no matter who you are, are contending with a lot. And we know that technology is a must, and technology alone is not enough. So with that in mind, we are delighted and thrilled to announce Microsoft Security Services, a new category for that is-- that we are launching, which brings together expert-developed and expert-trained technology with really these human-led services, humans who are on the frontlines in the trenches of security, coupled with all of the threat intelligence. We see 24 trillion signals a day. And so that's what we're doing here.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, I mean, what specifically does that mean? Sort of moving away from corporate speak, what does it mean for clients who are saying, look, we know the threats are there, but we just can't get out ahead fast enough? What does this specific service launch today mean?

VASU JAKKAL: Yeah, what this specific launch means is if you have technology, so let's say you are using Microsoft technology in your security organizations, we now provide humans which come with the technology. And there are three types of managed services for this technology plus humans. The first one is called hunting. And what this means, Akiko, is if you are looking at threats and you're trying to decipher them, then along with the security experts in your team, you have Microsoft experts who work side by side with you to decipher and find these hunts, these threats.

The second one is what we call defender experts for XDR, extended detection response. This is related to threats come from anywhere, not just your devices, but through your identities, your emails, your cloud apps. And again, these humans will work side by side with you not just to detect, but also to respond to these threats across the spectrum. And then the third one is, if you need the whole gamut of comprehensive expert-led services, called Microsoft Security Experts for Enterprise, which combines threat intelligence and these XDR services.

AKIKO FUJITA: Finally, Vasu, you talked about the shortage of workers in this space, and I wonder why that's the case. I mean, how much of this is about the threat just moving too quickly for companies to be able to respond? How much of this is about a lack of training in the skills that are necessary to deal with the cybersecurity issues that so many companies are facing today?

VASU JAKKAL: It's a combination of two things. A, the threat landscape is advancing really, really quickly. And so to keep up with that, to your point, you need to train the people who are in security. And the second one is, we need to also embrace a more diverse workforce, and we need to find new people because attackers come from everywhere. They represent the world. And our defender workforce needs to meet them where they are at, and we need to reflect our world. So we do need more people, Akiko, in the security workforce today.

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