It looks like Microsoft is looking to beef up its Windows Defender security system, following a new deal to acquire cybersecurity firm Hexadite. Once the deal is finalised, Hexadite's anti-virus technology will be rolled in with Windows Defender, paving the way for AI-powered automatic system scans and virus cleaning.
Microsoft says that this new AI-based tech will help make Windows Defender more effective, especially in the constantly evolving cyber threat landscape. Here's how Terry Myerson explains it:
“Our vision is to deliver a new generation of security capabilities that helps our customers protect, detect and respond to the constantly evolving and ever-changing cyber threat landscape. Hexadite’s technology and talent will augment our existing capabilities and enable our ability to add new tools and services to Microsoft’s robust enterprise security offerings.”
Hexadite currently offers a service known as Automated Incident Response Solution, or AIRS for short. This system can apparently reduce the time it takes to resolve a cybersecurity incident by up to 95 percent. We don't know how much Microsoft is spending on acquiring Hexadite but current rumours put the figure around the $100 million mark.
All of this comes during the same week Kaspersky Lab launched its own anti-competition accusations at Microsoft, claiming Windows Defender actively forces competing anti-virus solutions out. Since then, Microsoft has responded, denying that Windows Defender harms competition while adding that the company actually offered to meet with Kaspersky executives to work out the issues outside of the courtroom.
KitGuru Says: Given that Windows Defender is the default anti-virus for Windows, anything Microsoft can do to make it more robust and capable is great in my book.