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Microsoft focuses on data, identity security
Published: 2007-02-06

SAN FRANCISCO --Motte-and-bailey security needs to give way to more focused protections, Microsoft executives Bill Gates and Craig Mundie told attendees at the RSA Security Conference on Monday.

Five years after the software giant embarked on its Trustworthy Computing Initiative, the two Microsoft executives focused on the company's plans to secure data in an increasingly interconnected world. The company plans to push adoption of Internet protocol version 6 (IPv6), IPSec, network access controls and better identity management. As part of the keynote, Microsoft announced that it would support the OpenID protocol for sharing identity information and credentials among online services.

"It is sort of like we have been in the medieval age, and we say we have to build more and more fortress like protections," Mundie, the chief research & strategy officer for Microsoft, told attendees. "What we didn't see coming was the airplane and the surface-to-air missiles. The threat technology has been changing, and I think most people would agree that our castle is very porous."

The two Microsoft executives hardly mentioned last week's launch of Vista, the software giant's latest operating system for the desktop. While the company's focus on identity is not new, the Vista operating system brings better tools, including a visual application--CardSpace--that allows users to manage their identities.

"The problem at Microsoft is that we had just not given people great tools for dealing with all these different identities," Mundie said.

The keynote also marked the passing of the security torch from Gates, who sent a company-wide e-mail in 2002 stressing the importance of security, to Mundie.

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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