Meet The Man Who Keeps Microsoft Safe And Secure
Mike Howard, the chief security officer of Microsoft has done tremendously for Microsoft’s growth
and security. The former CIA officer is prepared for everything from bad to worst whether it is a
terrorism threat or a natural disaster situation. He is also set with solutions to act for the impacts
caused by various events that could trigger pressure both on the organization and its employees.
Today’s world holds a big threat to the internet and its usage and that is cybersecurity. More and more society
are globalized, and business gets expanded, everything works with fingerprints and has been operating digitally.
Howard always said that traditional security issues or theft, violence against workers, terrorism and natural
disasters are still bigger challenges in terms of business security.
This fact holds true when the company is large and under public demand. The security team set up by Howard
is ultimately responsible for the safety and security of Microsoft’s entire executive team, consisting of roughly
90000 employees, 90000 contractors and 700 facilities in over 100 countries worldwide. He is also responsible
for all their computer hardware equipment functioning and holding the security of the entire data they contain.
The security team under him also deals with threats of violence against executives and employees, kidnapping
threats, natural disasters, property threats, terrorism, intellectual property protection, etc. it is always ready to
respond to a new problem and also holds certain evacuation plans in place such as in all of its locations affected
by the Arab Spring.
During the initial years of Howard’s time in the company, the security team had to evacuate employees from
Beirut and the Ivory Coast. In case of any threatening letters, the security team deals with regular email based safety information and warning to all employees who travel overseas. Finding ways to communicate
and demonstrate the importance of security which can be both physical or cyber to the company’s executives,
is the main key to developing a security program that manages to keep such a huge public company running
The IT security counterpart of Howard has been working diligently to let the decision makers understand
the basics of security and to support those security efforts and the pushing down of that message throughout
the enterprise. Howard believes that the driving force behind physical and cybersecurity is part of the reason
that Microsoft’s company culture has come to reflect those values. Howard has said that their security team
always brief all new corporate vice presidents on security and brings senior executives to the Global Security
Operations Center in Redmond. They are shown what technologies are employed and the emergency doors set
to keep the company safe during harsh times.
According to Howard, Microsoft has come to understand what many companies never do and that is cyber and
physical security is integral to the company’s overall business based on its marketing plan. As security is crucial
to the entire technical world, so he always keeps in mind that intellectual property could be compromised when
required, however, it can cause problems to the company’s reputation and values or lead to lawsuits. So, the
company must be socially aware and conscious of its security by making cultural shifts when necessary. The
team under Howard has been essentially deputized to every ear and eye of the company’s policies with a formal
training program. Because training is a priority for any security background. Education and creating awareness
for both employees and vendors is necessary for Microsoft without which no security can work or function as
and when required. The security team is in-built with a robust employee assistance program.
For a security program to run efficiently, a backup plan and an automated drive where data are saved are of
utmost necessity. Howard has always kept in mind a plan B to function when the basic plan fails to action
during a crisis. The lost data is hard to retrieve, therefore for any newer threats or challenges, a backup of the
original data is necessary to be stored. Thus, the team under his leadership is not only oriented towards efficient
security functioning but also alert about any unforeseen circumstances and how to respond when situation
change and affect the company’s growth.