Microsoft is in talks to buy Mandiant, a cybersecurity research and incident response company, which would bolster its efforts to protect users from hacks, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday (February 8).
Although the deal may not materialize, according to unnamed sources who spoke to Bloomberg, the acquisition would strengthen Microsoft’s ability to protect customers and respond to hacking threats.
The software titan bought two small cybersecurity companies last year. This month, Microsoft said it made $15 billion in security software sales in 2021, a 45% increase from last year.
Mandiant most recently became a standalone company again in 2021 when FireEye, which acquired it in 2013, sold its security products business for $1.2 billion to a consortium led by Symphony Technology Group. Mandiant’s work has generally focused on incident response and cyber intelligence cases.
Microsoft last year said former Amazon cloud chief Charlie Bell would now oversee its security efforts, saying 3,500 employees would work to protect “from chip to cloud”.
According to Bloomberg Intelligence’s Anurag Rana, the deal would allow Microsoft to compete more often with more security-focused companies, while pushing cloud rivals Amazon and Google to pursue acquisitions of their own.
“It would be a smart move for Microsoft,” Rana said. “Going forward, the cloud with most security features would win.”
Microsoft also recently flagged hackers backed by China and other countries, saying they were part of a larger cohort seeking to uncover weaknesses in computer server software.
The report says that the fact that cyberattackers have government support should show the severity of the Log4j vulnerability, which is believed to have led to more than 840,000 attacks against businesses in just five days in mid-December.
Security experts said it could lead to serious attacks, including ransomware.
“The effects of this vulnerability will reverberate for months – maybe even years – as we try to close these doors and hunt down any actors who have broken in,” said John Hultquist, vice president of the intelligence analysis at Mandiant. .