Microsoft Inspire: GDPR and data

Today’s blog is probably going to reflect the fact that my head is now rattling with information overload!

So excuse me if I flit from one thing to another and it feels a little disjointed. That’s probably what a lot of the stuff Microsoft has been doing seems, but there is a sense that it is coming together and become more accessible.

As Brad Smith pointed out this morning, every customer has a story…and an opportunity.

We need to capture and tell those stories to help people understand what’s possible. We’d love to hear from customers about their challenges, the questions that they need to find answers to and what’s working for them. Feel free to bombard us.

The last session was a pretty deep analysis of global politics and something that needs to be digested before it’s the topic of a blog but it was an interesting perspective on the US essentially pulling back from its role as a global leader, fragmentation and how the gaps will be filled.

The underlying driver for this final session was the challenges around how governments respond to the cyber threat to national security in order to protect the right to privacy of their citizens.

And that obviously brings us on to GDPR.

Microsoft certainly sees itself as guardians of privacy and is fighting legal actions on numerous fronts as a result.

It also has a bigger GDPR issue than almost any other organisation given the amount of data it holds for the businesses and consumers who are its customers.

And Microsoft has 3500 security professionals! It also has a dedicated team of 300 engineers working on Microsoft’s own GDPR compliance – let’s face it, 4% of global turnover would be frightening amount.

Cyber security is a joint responsibility but customers need to adopt tools to implement the security fundamentals covered by our CTO Paul Burns in our roadshows last week. And we’ll continue to provide information and insights in forthcoming webinars and through one-to-one conversations.

The great thing is that we know technology can help, and solutions like our PII Discovery Tool that combines TermSet ScanR and our Qlik Sense dashboard – available as a free trial – will certainly help.

What’s clear is that it’s about finding the right tools to address the threat and as Brad pointed out, you wouldn’t try to shoot down a modern fighter jet with a 19th century cannon!

He was also very strident in his assertion that Microsoft will defend every customer, everywhere; won’t allow governments to attack the privacy of their own citizens – a bold comparison with the 4th Geneva Convention; and the view that Microsoft will, in effect, be a digital Switzerland in the war on cybercrime.

Interesting stuff.

I’ll leave you with a thought from the opening that seems to reflect where we are with technology at the moment: ‘we are in a continuous process of becoming’.

Check out mine and Steven Osprey’s thoughts on the second full day of the conference: