Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) has been in the spotlight recently due to a series of legal and cybersecurity challenges.
Beginning in October, Microsoft has decided to cease the renewal of licenses for its products to Russian businesses, a move influenced by the sanctions imposed on Russia due to the Ukraine conflict. In a communication to Russian enterprises, Microsoft clarified that wire transfer payments to local bank accounts for its services in Russia will no longer be processed. “Please take the necessary steps to secure your data before the expiration date of your current subscription,” said the company’s letter. This leaves Russian businesses with a two-month period to seek alternative suppliers. The absence of updates from Microsoft could expose Russian services to heightened cyber threats. Industry experts have raised concerns that the limited availability of alternatives might push businesses toward the use of unauthorized software tools, the Economic Mail reports.
Microsoft is gearing up to introduce pivotal modifications to its Services Agreement by September 30, 2023. This update will prominently feature a section dedicated to AI services, underscoring Microsoft’s commitment to ethical AI practices. The agreement will lay out a series of rules and guidelines for the use of AI services, emphasizing responsible usage and the management of AI-generated data. Among the notable rules are prohibitions against reverse engineering AI services, unauthorized data extraction, and the use of AI services or data to enhance other AI services. This proactive approach by Microsoft signifies its dedication to fostering responsible AI practices and ensuring legal compliance, according to Cryptopolitan reports.
The US Cyber Safety Review Board is set to undertake a comprehensive review of cloud-based identity and authentication infrastructure. This review comes in the wake of a significant breach at Microsoft, which resulted in the theft of emails from US government agencies. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has emphasized the importance of understanding the vulnerabilities inherent in cloud technology, given its widespread adoption. This review is expected to yield recommendations that will aid organizations in safeguarding against malicious cloud-based account access, as the IT News reports.
Microsoft suspended the sale of its products and services in Russia in March of last year, and it would “slowly reduce its presence in the country until it’s gone completely,”said Microsoft.
Forbes Russia estimates that up to 90% of corporate clients in the country still use Microsoft products. Without Microsoft software updates, Russian services will become more susceptible to cyber attacks, experts warn. The lack of alternatives will also encourage businesses to use pirated tools.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Eunice Anyango Oyule and Judy J. Rotich