It was ten years ago this month that Bill Gates created the Trustworthy Computing (TwC) initiative, a landmark decision that fundamentally altered the direction and approach of Microsoft’s product development. Gates’ initiative marked a period where security became a priority, and gaining customer trust through developing new security methodologies, including built-in security and privacy for Microsoft software and services, became a standard.
It’s the philosophy behind these measures that so strongly impacts the culture of IT today – based off the reality that technology is, and will continue to be, increasingly richly incorporated into daily life. From the ways we work to the ways we communicate, people are recognizing the benefit of the technology we have at hand, becoming more and more mobile, with more integrated social networks. Focusing on “security, privacy and reliability,” Microsoft has strongly engaged in establishing processes to improve those very concepts, part of industry-wide efforts to secure the “IT ecosystem.”
Today, with the push of cloud computing, coupled with how interconnected our society and communication has become, the concept of Trustworthy Computing is more important than ever. Immense amounts of data being generated will create new challenges in the upcoming era, as the need for greater public awareness about privacy and security increases, alongside the need for the strategic evolution of these concerns. This year, we’ll see security being approached in a holistic way, in the building, running and verification of cloud services and solutions. Microsoft embraced this concept ten years ago and continues to do so, with teams focused on security best practices in service designs and operations. Microsoft has over 50 people working full-time on security, privacy and compliance on Office 365 alone.
Says Scott Charney, corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group, “The reality is that we’re connected all the time through multiple devices. While computers were originally embraced by governments and businesses to promote commerce, now, with the consumerization of IT and social networking, all these devices and services constitute the social fabric of our lives.” It’s clear that people, not computers, are at the center of this shift in IT – and protecting users from the risk of threat, from how they work to what they need, is crucial to understand in the coming years. Microsoft shows that the questions faced by the world of computing should and can be met headlong, emphasizing that it is an industry-wide effort with a global impact.