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Microsoft’s $20 Billion, Five Year Cybersecurity Budget: What’s the Context?


Microsoft has vowed to spend $20 billion on cybersecurity over the next five years, according to Reuters. At first glance, that's a massive figure. But take a closer look and it's difficult to put Microsoft's cybersecurity budget in proper context -- especially in terms of people, product, process and partners -- particularly security-minded MSPs and their MSSP cousins.

The Microsoft cyber budget figure surfaced as part of a Big Tech meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on August 25, 2021. The guest list included CEO Andy Jassy, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google's parent Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, Reuters said.

The meeting surfaced roughly three months after Biden issued a cybersecurity executive order in May 2021. The order focused on improving the nation’s cyber stance, threat intelligence sharing, and cyberattack response efforts. Moreover, the order mentioned IT service providers -- and the critical role they play across the federal government's supply chain.

Among the key priorities: Aligning public cloud providers (Microsoft, Amazon and Google), government agencies such as the CISA and FBI, along with MSPs and MSSPs to mitigate ransomware and other cyberattack risks.

Microsoft Azure, AWS Security Teams Embrace MSP and MSSP Partners

Even before the Biden meeting, the Big Three cloud providers have been working more closely with MSPs as well as MSSPs. For instance, Amazon launched an AWS partner program for MSSPs in August 21 Meanwhile,  the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA) has expanded to support 67 MSSP members as of mid-2021.

Thousands of additional MSPs in the SMB sector, meanwhile, have been hardening their networks, IT management and business automation software. The big question: How much will a Rich Uncle called Microsoft open its wallet, and how much of the $20 billion in cybersecurity spending over the next five years will flow directly -- or indirectly -- to MSPs and MSSPs, and their software solutions?

We'll be digging for answers.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.