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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says security comes first, tells employees to prioritise safety over new features

When OpenAI launched ChatGPT in 2022, people across the globe were left surprised by its capabilities. The generative AI tool could compose music, write poetry, come up with jokes, and respond to questions in a human-like manner. Soon, many companies started harnessing the power of AI and began using the tech in their day-to-day operations. After OpenAI, companies like Google and Microsoft also rolled out their own AI chatbots, Bard (now called Gemini) and Bing (now called CoPilot). The three AI tools are used across the globe today and about a year back, analysts had predicted that Microsoft was ahead in the AI race. However, as per Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, focusing on security is more important than rolling out new products or features.

In a recent memo, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was seen telling his employees to prioritise safety over everything else. As per the memo obtained by The Verge, Nadella told his employees that security is now the company’s “top priority.” This shift comes after criticism from the US Cyber Safety Review Board and various security breaches targeting Microsoft’s products. As per the memo, Nadella urged all 200,000+ employees to prioritise security over other tasks and not to make trade-offs that compromise security.

In the memo, he outlined a new security overhaul, urging employees not to compromise security for any other priority. Nadella emphasised prioritising security even over releasing new features or supporting legacy systems. “Security comes first when designing any product or service,” he wrote.

The company has faced several security challenges in recent years, including attacks by Chinese and Russian hackers targeting Microsoft Exchange servers and the Microsoft Cloud. To address these threats, Nadella introduced the Secure Future Initiative (SFI) in November. Now, Microsoft is doubling down on SFI, focusing on three core principles: Secure by Design, Secure by Default, and Secure Operations.

“Last November, we launched our Secure Future Initiative (SFI) with this responsibility in mind, bringing together every part of the company to advance cybersecurity protection across both new products and legacy infrastructure. I’m proud of this initiative, and grateful for the work that has gone into implementing it. But we must and will do more.

Going forward, we will commit the entirety of our organization to SFI, as we double down on this initiative with an approach grounded in three core principles:

– Secure by Design: Security comes first when designing any product or service.

-Secure by Default: Security protections are enabled and enforced by default, require no extra effort, and are not optional.

-Secure Operations: Security controls and monitoring will continuously be improved to meet current and future threats.

Under these principles, Microsoft aims to enhance security across all aspects of its operations, from product design to network protection. The company is mobilising its entire organisation to implement these standards and guidelines. Additionally, part of the senior leadership team’s compensation will be based on progress towards meeting security plans and milestones,” Nadella wrote in the memo.

Nadella also stressed the importance of continuous improvement, urging employees to approach the security challenge with both technical and operational rigour. He talked about the need for collaboration and learning from adversaries to strengthen the overall security posture.

Ultimately, Nadella also said that security is everyone’s responsibility and is the top priority for both Microsoft’s security teams and its customers. As the company moves forward with its security overhaul, it aims to protect the digital estates of its customers and contribute to building a safer world for all.

Published By:

Divyanshi Sharma

Published On:

May 6, 2024

Originally Appeared Here

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