I’m off to America! Some tin-pot little IT start-up called Microsoft has invited me to visit their headquarters in Redmond, Washington (pictured) to find out what they’re doing about security, and in particular their Trustworthy Computing initiatives.
Now if you’re a crusty old network administrator like me, you may think that “Microsoft” and “security” in the same sentence is an oxymoron. A decade ago I was building Linux-based firewalls and, like so many people doing the same, I referred to Windows-based computers as “the targets”. And certainly the vast majority of the world’s malware is targeted at Windows.
But I’ve always though that the simplistic “Windows is bad, m’kay” was a bit, well, simplistic. Information security isn’t just about the technology, it’s also about people. Human factors are also the weakest link. And over the years I’ve found that people who throw around those tired platform-wars slogans usually aren’t up to date when it comes to the things they love to hate.
So, I’m off to Redmond later this month to spend three days with some of Microsoft’s engineers and developers, including briefing sessions with senior executives from Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Group.
There’s a lot to cover here, so what should I be looking at, do you think? The security of Windows Server, or Windows 7, or of Microsoft’s cloud services? Privacy issues? The fight against foreign governments, criminals and child abusers? Viruses and malware? Identity and authentication? What? You tell me!
What are some of the hard questions I should be asking?
Some of what I do will end up in a special edition of the Patch Monday podcast, and I’m also doing a “Letter from Redmond” for Crikey‘s “Letter from…” column. And I’ll be looking for more writing opportunities.
Dear Editors and Producers, is there anything you’d like me to research and write about? Please let me know if you’d like me to pitch some stories.
I’ll be flying out of Sydney on Monday 24 May, and will be in Redmond from Tuesday to Thursday that week, Seattle time. And yes, Microsoft is paying for the airfares, meals and accommodation, so there’s your journalistic disclosure.
[Photo: Microsoft’s Redmond Campus, looking east, courtesy Microsoft Inc.]