Learn how Microsoft’s “hive-mind approach” system uses adjacent devices’ behavioral data to identify anomalies and address broken network devices. Discover the role of machine learning in distinguishing harmful activities for enhanced cybersecurity.

Microsoft wants cybersecurity to be a collaborative endeavor. The business seeks to patent a system that can identify malfunctioning network devices. This technology employs what Microsoft refers to as a “hive-mind approach” to identify a broken device by examining the network’s adjacent devices’ behavioral data to determine whether one is acting unusually.

In essence, networked devices are in charge of maintaining order among themselves. Neighboring devices will alert the system if they see that one device in a network isn’t “alive, active, and reporting” its behavior information, also known as telemetry data that establishes whether a device is functioning properly. One or more reports label the gadget as anomalous, leading to its inclusion in additional investigations.

Microsoft stated that a number of factors, including hardware issues, improperly configured or tampered-with software, and malicious assaults, might cause devices to malfunction. In addition, “anomaly detection logic,” which employs machine learning to distinguish between harmful and non-malicious abnormal activity, is described in the company’s patent application.

Traditional monitoring techniques, which depend on teams watching solely the reported data, are susceptible to errors in cases where a device remains operational but ceases to report its status and health.

“Conventional approaches for identifying abnormal or potentially harmful behavior within an enterprise network remain deficient,” Microsoft stated.

Microsoft ‘s security

Microsoft is very concerned in getting security right, if its patent activity is any clue. The business has applied for patents for computer vision-based airport security technology, remote biometric authentication, and even cloud tenant hack prevention.

Many of Microsoft’s security-related patents are concerned with safeguarding its cloud network, which is a crucial component. That makes logical, no? 95% of the Fortune 500 businesses are among the thousands of personal and business customers of Microsoft Azure. The trust of customers in Azure may suffer significant damage due to cyberattacks, especially when they specifically target prominent corporations. Such attacks could result in customers switching to competing platforms such as Google Cloud or AWS.

Nevertheless, Azure has experienced a number of flaws throughout time. Researchers found a bug in Microsoft Azure database in August 2021 that had exposed thousands of customers’ data for about two years. And in January, a cybersecurity company found four other flaws that might expose users. Although each of these has already been fixed, Microsoft might want to avoid making the same mistakes again in the future.

For Microsoft, the cloud represents a significant source of revenue. The company’s Intelligent Cloud division earned $22.1 billion in the most recent quarter, up 16% from the same period last year. Azure and other cloud services under this showed a 27% increase in revenue growth compared to the same quarter last year. Over 40% of its sales for the quarter came from its cloud business overall.

The necessity for vast cloud capacity to store the data required for quick AI development makes cloud security even more important. Getting it right could determine who stays ahead in the AI arms race with rivals like Amazon and Google in the field.

Microsoft's collaborative approaches
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