Redmond will likely use the acquisition to boost AI-based security in its software portfolio
Microsoft is poised to by cyber security firm Hexadite for $100 million (£77m), in a move that is likely aimed to bolster the company’s security software and services portfolio.
Financial news publication Calcalist reported that Redmond as agreed to acquired the Boston-based firm, which provides technology to automate responses to cyber attacks through the use of artificial intelligence (AI).
Both Microsoft and Hexadite appear to be tight lipped on the details and ambition for the acquisition.
Given how the WannaCry ransomware targeted Windows-based systems and wreaked havoc, it comes as no surprise that Microsoft will be looking at bolstering its security portfolio.
And given Redmond’s interest in AI, which recently saw it invest in two AI startups through its Ventures division, it makes sense that that it should acquire technology that has smart tech and automation at its core.
We would hazard a guess that Microsoft is likely to take Hexadite’s technology and integrate it into its Windows Security portfolio, as well as add some elements of security automation into its cloud-based services, such as Office 365, which would build out on the AI and security features Microsoft has already been bolstering its Office suite with.
Such an approach would tie neatly into Microsoft’s product and services integration strategy, spearheaded by chief executive Satya Nadella, who is arguably bringing back innovation into a company that was sorely lacking it during the Steve Ballmer years.
AI is also playing an ever more pertinent role in cyber security, with the likes of IBM Watson being used to aid the analysis of cyber threats, and security specialist Darktrace making use of machine learning to better spot insider threats that may escape the view of security teams attempting to defend against the risking number of cyber threats and attack vectors.