Microsoft’s security business is growing faster than any of its main products, and now the company is adding heft to its offerings with three new services designed to help organizations spot and respond to cybersecurity incidents.
Microsoft is among the leaders in cloud software and infrastructure, which means its technology is already the backbone for many businesses of all sizes. That puts the company in position to not only make security software available to its client base, but also offer consulting-oriented services in a market where demand far exceeds supply.
The investment comes as organizations ramp up their security spending to manage the increased threats of ransomware attacks and network hacks. Last year, Microsoft and other technology companies pledged to help fill about 500,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S., and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said annual research and development spending in cybersecurity would jump to $4 billion from $1 billion.
Security already represents a $15 billion annual business for Microsoft, and in 2021 it increased faster than any other significant product or service the company sold.
Vasu Jakkal, a Microsoft corporate vice president focused on security, told CNBC that a big part of Microsoft’s added spending is on people.
“We’re just expanding the scale because of the demands we are seeing,” Jakkal said.
Among the new products being launched is Microsoft Defender Experts for Hunting. It will involve Microsoft engineers flagging issues they find in clients’ devices, Office 365 productivity software installations, cloud applications and identity programs, for $3 per person per month. The launch will put Microsoft in more direct competition with pure-play security software companies like CrowdStrike.