Microsoft's MSFT earnings report may have signaled a slowdown in cloud growth and a steep drop in PC sales, but it also provided more insight into its growing security arm. Security offerings are now $20 billion a year business, according to the tech giant.
That is double what the $10 billion per year saw in 2021, and up from the $15 billion it brought in in 2022. Microsoft has pledged to spend $20 billion through 2026 and 2026 through 2026 to expand its security offerings.
Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft CVP of security, compliance, identity, and management, told Yahoo Finance that security is the top priority even in this economically challenging time.
This is an asymmetric war because customers don't want to cut security budgets. Jakkal said that they are investing heavily because they believe that an organization is important for an organization to deliver on its mission, to serve their customers, and that it is important for an organization to deliver on its innovation.
Microsoft Security Cloud, as it is called, is made up of six products: Microsoft Defender, Microsoft Entra, Microsoft Intune, Microsoft Priva, Microsoft Purview and Microsoft Sentinel. Each offering is part of the security chain, ranging from prevention and detection to compliance management.
Jakkal said security is where organizations spend the most, and is easily justifiable for companies.
Jakkal explained that attacks don't stop especially in financially constrained times. A barrier to entry for ransomware has gone down, and it is a good way for an attacker to make a quick buck. According to McKinsey Company, the cybersecurity market could be worth as much as $2 trillion as more businesses realize that they lack the kind of protection and detection measures to keep their networks safe.
Microsoft has seen its customer numbers go from 400,000 organizations in 2021 to 860,000 in 2023.
Despite that kind of growth, Jakkal says there still aren't enough cybersecurity professionals in the U.S. The Microsoft executive said there were 3.5 million to 4 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S.
If Microsoft can fill a small portion of the roles, it should be able to continue building its security platform. It will have to keep other players at bay, including CloudStrike CRWD and Palo Alto Networks PANW.
Email Daniel Howley at dhowley yahoofinance.com.