There is really no way to sugarcoat the situation. A war is going on between enterprises to whom you have entrusted your data–and a determined criminal element is intent on stealing it. The weapons used in this battle for data often act indiscriminately, leaving civilian casualties in their wake. It is ugly and messy and not likely to end in the foreseeable future.

This is why large software producers like Microsoft have been spending extraordinary resources on counter-weaponry, particularly when it comes to operating systems. The only way to combat the clever and ever-evolving cyberattacks is to match them with similar innovation. Microsoft’s acquisition of Hexadite is the company’s latest attempt to instill innovation and get in front of the next enterprise-level malware attack.

SEE: Machine learning: The smart person’s guide


One of the most effective ways for criminals to breach enterprise security is with automation. An automated attack made with bots running on devices illegally controlled by cybercriminals can overwhelm even the most efficient and best staffed security response teams. It seems only practical that the best way to fight automation is with automation.

Hexadite has developed agentless intelligent security orchestration and an automation platform that enables enterprises to go from detecting a security breach or threat to remediating that threat in minutes. The platform uses artificial intelligence and automation to recognize the problem and then fix the problem without having to wait for the IT response team.

The Hexadite platform helps alleviate what has become a major concern for enterprises in their war against malicious cybercriminals–time. The number and frequency of attacks on major organizations often overwhelms the people assigned to combat them. An automated AI platform can read and counter common attacks, freeing IT security personnel to deal with other security threats and patch vulnerabilities.

Microsoft plans to incorporate Hexadite’s platform into the Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) system. Enterprises use the WDATP protocol to actively detect and remediate cyber threats to their networks running Windows 10 devices. Adding an automated AI platform should make the WDATP that more effective, and most important, timely.

SEE: Ransomware: The smart person’s guide

Bottom line

In the battle over access to data, the enterprise, in general, is losing to the criminal element. In many cases, enterprise IT personnel are outgunned and overwhelmed by the weapons used by the opposing side. The only way to get the upper hand is by winning what has become, for all intents and purposes, an arms race.

By acquiring Hexadite and incorporating its innovative AI platform into existing Windows 10 security systems, Microsoft is looking to get a leg up on the cybercriminals and thwart their next attack. Automating an effective response to an automated attack is the only way enterprises can keep up with, and potentially get ahead of, the criminal element hellbent on getting access to their data. This is just the world we do business in–sad as that may be.

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Your thoughts

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