In addition to living in a digital age, our lives have also started to revolve around clouds, that is, cloud storage and services. This elusive and ephemeral concept, however, still needs to be tethered to physical realities and limited by physical storage solutions. In other words, that fancy cloud storage you’re using to collaborate and store your files ultimately gets … Continue reading
Scheduling a virtual commute in Teams can help you have a productive start in the morning and disconnect at night.
Microsoft will enable Teams users to overlay a presenter’s video feed when displaying content such as slides – part of its aim to improve meetings as the number of video calls rockets during the pandemic.  The feature, due out later this year, is among a handful of updates to the Teams collaboration platform unveiled at Microsoft’s Ignite conference Tuesday. The company also highlighted enhancements to office-based meeting tools and new capabilities to promote employee wellbeing.The custom layouts feature lets users place a video feed of a meeting presenter onto the foreground of a PowerPoint presentation,  thanks to the same artificial intelligence  segmentation technology used in Teams background blur and Together mode. This will enable meeting participants to view the presenter’s hand and face gestures, as well as allow for weather forecaster-style highlighting of content.  To read this article in full, please click here
Business Insider analyzed salary data Microsoft discloses when it applies for visas on behalf of foreign workers to find the highest-paid roles within the company. Granted, it's not a comprehensive look because it only includes salaries for foreign workers, but it gives rare insight into the otherwise-private pay practices at the $1.58 trillion tech titan.  We analyzed the federal data for Microsoft titles with the highest salaries, and provided a salary range for each role. Notably, the data doesn't include total compensation, such as potential bonuses or stock awards. We focused on roles that pay $175,000 or more at the high end of the range, and categorized them based on information we found in job postings. Do you work at Microsoft? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email ([email protected]). Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Federal data provides a window into the highest-paid roles within Microsoft. American companies have to disclose salaries when they apply for visas on behalf of current or prospective foreign workers. The Office of Foreign Labor Certification publishes the salaries every year. Business Insider analyzed the data to find the highest-paying roles within Microsoft, the $1.58 trillion tech titan.  Granted, it's not a comprehensive look because it only includes salaries for foreign workers. Still, it's the best look at salary data we have, because Microsoft — like almost every other company on the planet — generally doesn't disclose or discuss employee compensation, with the notable exception of its regulatory requirement to disclose the pay packages for top executives like CEO Satya Nadella. Microsoft declined to comment for this report. We analyzed Microsoft's more than 4,000 active foreign worker visas in 2020 to find the titles with the highest salaries, and provided a salary range for each role (the data doesn't include total compensation, such as potential bonuses or stock awards). We focused this list on roles that pay $175,000 or more at the high end of the range, and categorized them based on information we found in job postings. The highest we found pays $336,290. Let us know if you think any titles are in the wrong place. More than three-quarters of Microsoft's active visas are located in Washington state, where Microsoft is headquartered. The company has offices small and large all over America, including sizable outposts in California, North Carolina, and Texas. Note that offices in different cities may pay local employees at different rates, based on factors including the cost of living. Internal Microsoft poll results obtained by Business Insider in May suggest a declining number of employees think their pay is competitive. Sources said that 55% of employees surveyed said their combined salary, bonuses, and equity is competitive with similar jobs at other companies — down from 57% in 2019, 61% in 2018, and 65% in 2017.SEE ALSO: Microsoft asks staff each year if they think their compensation is competitive. Leaked poll results show a declining share say yes. Marketing: Up to $188,802 Microsoft hires for marketing roles across the business, and a few command some of the highest salaries within the company, including some related to Microsoft's channel partner network of resellers, systems integrators, and consultants. Partner/channel marketing manager: $113,000 to $188,802 Group product marketing manager: $185,955.00 Channel executive: $183,095 Product marketing manager: $89,500 to $182,175 Architecture and service engineering: Up to $191,400 Many high-paying roles within Microsoft appear to relate to the company's Azure cloud computing business, including infrastructure service engineers and cloud solutions architects, but it's likely the company has service engineers and architects across the business. Architecture and service engineering roles make up more than 13% of our list: Partner technical architect: $138,430 to $191,400 Delivery management manager: $191,300 Senior service engineer: $145,397 to $190,305 Architect manager: $189,200 Principal solutions architect: $184,500 Cloud solutions architect: $93,750 to $183,116 Principal service engineering manager: $182,034 Architect: $113,800 to $180,100 Supply chain manager: $115,000 to $177,529   Sales and other customer-facing roles: Up to $191,920 Many of the high-paying jobs on the list had titles including the term "specialist," which Microsoft job postings indicate means a role within the company's sales organization. A "technical specialist" within Azure, for example, might help customers determine what cloud services they need for specific projects, and how to implement them. Principal solution specialist: $191,920 Account technology strategist: $132,000 to $185,000 Technical specialist: $97,350 to $178,403 Specialist: $95,000 to $175,500 There were also a couple of additional customer-facing roles with a salary range above $175,000 — a learning development manager, which appears to help train Microsoft employees and clients, and an engineering role within Microsoft's customer support organization. Learning and development manager: $186,056 Premier field engineer: $119,158.00 to $177,062   Finance: Up to $210,500 A few finance roles fetch high salaries within Microsoft, the highest-level of which is for a "controller manager," which appears to be basically a role in charge of financial management for a particular business, and is considered a member of the executive team for that business, according to a recent Microsoft job posting. Controller manager: $118,000 to $210,500 Director RM [risk management] manager: $185,500 Financial analysis and controls manager: $118,000 to $180,462 Hardware, electrical, and mechanical engineering: Up to $212,500 Hardware, electrical, and mechanical engineering roles made up more than 13% of the highest-paying jobs on our list. While these roles are likely spread across the company, some land within Microsoft's "experiences and devices" team, which Microsoft recently reorganized in order to bolster the group with internal cloud talent. Senior hardware engineering program manager: $160,000 to $212,500 Senior mechanical engineer: $160,223 to $213,012 Senior electrical engineer: $153,000 to $217,153 Principal hardware engineer: $200,000 Principal electrical engineer: $196,953 Senior hardware engineer: $94,000 to $195,000 Electrical engineer: $94,000 to $190,000 Senior NPI [new product introduction] quality engineer: $185,000 Principal development manager: $191,126 Business development: Up to $240,000 Microsoft recently lost its top dealmaker, former head of business development Peggy Johnson, who took over as CEO of troubled startup Magic Leap. Losing Johnson hasn't mellowed Microsoft's M&A ambitions. The company is trying to acquire a chunk of viral video app TikTok's operations. A few business development roles are among the highest-paid titles within Microsoft: Business development manager: $164,300 to $240,000 Business planner management: $188,800.00 Business development senior manager: $175,000.00 Business program manager: $91,500.00 to $175,000.00   Design, and design verification and validation: Up to $242,761 Design, and design verification and validation roles made up about 10 percent of Business Insider's analysis of highest-paid roles. Microsoft employs design professionals across the business, from its Microsoft 365 suite of business applications, to its cloud and artificial intelligence businesses: Director, hardware DVE: $242,761 Principal design verification engineer: $219,057 Senior design validation engineer: $205,000 Senior design verification engineer: $140,000 to $203,991 Designer: $108,000 to $195,020 Design verification engineer: $94,000 to $181,872 Senior designer: $145,000 to $180,000 Program management: Up to $255,368 A project manager's role within Microsoft depends a lot on the team, but as former Microsoft Program Manager Amanda Song once explained, "they develop and advocate for the product vision, build the roadmap, interact with customers to collect feedback, and work cross-functionally with engineering, design, marketing, customer support, etc., over the product or feature life-cycle, from ideation through launch and beyond." Principal PM manager: $109,000 to $255,368 Principal program manager: $110,000 to $222,944 Senior program manager: $109,000 to $221,000 Senior PM manager: $168,880 to $179,927 Business operations and program management leader: $179,200 Software engineering: Up to $263,400 Nearly one-fifth of the highest-paid job titles on our list are software-engineering related, the largest share of any category: Software engineering manager: $123,000 to $263,400 Software engineer: $85,842 to $235,787 Software engineering lead: $143,000 to $228,303 Principal software engineer: $155,000 to $212,000 Partner software development engineer: $205,000 Senior software development engineer: $135,000 to $205,000 Principal software development engineer: $190,224 to $204,874 Principal software engineering manager: $202,000 Senior software engineer: $118,000 to $200,000 Software engineer manager: $192,400. Principal research software development engineer: $186,046 Senior software engineer lead: $182,575 Research, data, and science: Up to $336,290 Microsoft Research is the company's long-established think tank, responsible for technologies powering everything from quantum computing to underwater data centers to the HoloLens goggle. While not all Microsoft researchers and scientists necessarily work for the company's research arm, it's clear they are highly paid across the company. Research, data, and science roles make up nearly 15% of our list: Distinguished scientist: $336,290 Principal researcher: $185,644 to $215,370 Researcher: $110,000 to $200,000 Senior researcher: $175,000 Data and applied scientist manager: $159,825 to $255,823 BAI [business analytics and insights] manager: $205,300 Data and applied scientist: $109,000 to  $202,940 Senior applied scientist: $162,000 to $183,650 Senior product analyst: $180,000 Senior data engineer: $175,500
As part of a reorg, Microsoft just moved a team from its Azure cloud business into the organization responsible for Windows, Surface devices, and Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 is the bundle of business applications that includes the Office 365 productivity suite, collaboration tools like OneDrive and SharePoint, the Microsoft Teams chat app, and even the Windows 10 operating system itself. The Microsoft 365 bundle represents a huge portion of Microsoft's catalogue of cloud software — an area where it has a clear advantage in the cloud wars over rivals like Amazon Web Services and Google's G Suite. Below are the 22 power players behind Microsoft 365. Click here to read more BI Prime stories. Microsoft just bolstered the organization responsible for Windows, Surface devices, and its Microsoft 365 bundle of business applications with some internal cloud talent. The company recently relocated a team from its Azure cloud business to this organization, known as "experiences and devices," according to longtime Microsoft pundit Brad Sams, writing for, "to help the Windows/Surface teams build more cohesive experiences that the company hopes customers will love and push the Surface team to create better products as well." The experiences and devices team is responsible for a big part of Microsoft's business. Microsoft 365, for example, is the company's a bundle of business apps, introduced in 2017, that includes Office 365 – cloud-based versions of the company's flagship productivity applications such as Word and Excel – collaboration tools like OneDrive and SharePoint, the Microsoft Teams chat app, and even the Windows 10 operating system itself. The strategy, the company has said, is to make it easier for customers to adopt the best of Microsoft, all at once. The latest changes come after the company earlier this year notified employees about a significant reorganization, which took effect Feb. 25, affecting the Windows experience and devices teams, according to an internal memo obtained by Business Insider.  That represents a big chunk of Microsoft's lineup of cloud software products, an area where it has a clear advantage in the cloud wars with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. AWS doesn't have a cloud software business to speak of, while Google's G Suite only accounts for a sliver of the market compared with the juggernaut that is Microsoft Office. United under the banner of Microsoft 365, these power players are helping the company in "moving closer toward a comprehensive enterprise application ecosystem," Nucleus Research analyst Andrew MacMillen recently told Business Insider. Here are the 21 power players behind Microsoft 365:Rajesh Jha, executive VP of Experiences & Devices Rajesh Jha leads Microsoft's Experiences and Devices group. Jha's purview includes Windows client, Office Product Group, the New Experiences and Technology team (charged with finding new ways to engage Microsoft customers) and Enterprise Mobility and Management (which runs Windows Enterprise deployment and management). Jha was the one who notified Microsoft employees about the big reorganization in early February. Jha has been on Microsoft's leadership team since 2006, and has worked at Microsoft since he finished graduate school in 2000. Panos Panay, chief product officer Panos Panay now runs the Windows + Devices Team created through the reorganization. As Jha explained it, the new team "will drive end-to-end people centered innovation including the entire Windows ecosystem," he said in the email to employees. "The joining of these teams will streamline the decision-making process to help us deliver the best device experience from silicon through the OS for our customers on OEM and Surface Devices." Panay is generally considered the driving force behind Microsoft's line of Surface products. Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 Kirk Koenigsbauer is the corporate vice president responsible for product marketing and management for Microsoft 365. Koenigsbauer's purview includes the overall Microsoft 365 bundle, Office 365, Windows 10 Enterprise, and the IT security and management tool Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS). Koenigsbauer originally started working at Microsoft in 1992, but left in 1998 and did a three-year stint at Amazon. He rejoined Microsoft in 2002 as a corporate vice president. Koenigsbauer in 2015 was notably the first Microsoft executive ever to grace the stage at an Apple product event.  Now that the reorg has taken effect, Koenigsbauer will report directly to Jha as the chief operating officer for the Experience and Devices group. Jared Spataro, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 Jared Spataro runs Microsoft 365 marketing, which according to Microsoft includes business management, product marketing and go-to-market programs for the suite of applications. Spataro was tasked with public communications related to Microsoft ending support Windows 7 its operating system used on millions of PCs since its launch in 2009, and encouraged users to upgrade to Windows 10 or buy new PCs that come preinstalled with it.  The successful upgrade push helped make Microsoft's most recent quarter the best for its Windows business in terms of growth since CEO Satya Nadella took over in 2014. Spataro joined Microsoft in 2006 as a director for Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration platform.   Brian MacDonald, corporate vice president of Microsoft Teams Brian MacDonald is retiring from Microsoft once the reorg goes into place — but in the interim, he's the corporate vice president of the Microsoft Teams chat app.  MacDonald is a legend within Microsoft, known as the "father of Outlook," the company's flagship email product. He led Microsoft's push to create Teams, the fast-growing chat app, by taking a small group of engineers to his fruit plantation in Maui to hack it together. "In-between writing lines of code, the team spent their days hiking, riding tractors, picking food from the land, all to inspire new ways of thinking about the essence of teamwork, how technology can take collaboration to new levels, and what Microsoft could uniquely offer," according to Microsoft. "By the end, they left with the crystallizing idea that they wanted to build a service that made it frictionless for individuals and teams to create, collaborate and 'work in the open.'" Teams has more than 20 million daily active users, according to Microsoft – more than rival Slack, although Slack has taken issue with Microsoft's accounting since Teams comes bundled with Microsoft 365.   Jeff Teper, corporate vice president of Office 365 Jeff Teper is corporate vice president of Microsoft's Office 365 cloud-based suite of productivity tools. He'll also take over Microsoft Teams chat app when MacDonald retires. Teper runs design, product and engineering for products including core Office applications such as Word and Excel, OneDrive file storage system and collaboration platform SharePoint. Teper joined Microsoft in 1992 and is best known as a co-creator of Microsoft SharePoint, which is now an industry-standard way for teams to share files and work with each other.   Perry Clarke, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 Perry Clarke is the Microsoft 365 corporate vice president responsible for the core platform and artificial intelligence experience. He's a Microsoft distinguished engineer who joined the company after working on neutron scattering work at the experimental reactor at Riso Lab in Denmark. Clarke's purview includes Microsoft's bot framework and cognitive services, which is a collection of AI tools for vision, speech, language, knowledge and search; Microsoft Search, a search tool for businesses within Microsoft 365; AI intelligence throughout Microsoft 365; and the Intelligent Office Graph, which helps track information as it moves across Office 365. Jon Tinter, corporate vice president of business development for Microsoft 365 & Search, Ads, and News Jon Tinter is the corporate vice president of business development for Microsoft 365 & Search, Ads, and News. The 13-year Microsoft veteran runs strategy for products including Microsoft 365 when it comes to growth, mergers and acquisitions, commercial partnerships and strategic investments. Tinter's strategic leadership also includes products such as Windows, Surface devices, search products like Bing and Microsoft Search, plus Microsoft News and the company's digital advertising business. Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft Commercial Management Experiences Brad Anderson is corporate vice president of Microsoft Commercial Management Experiences, which means he runs the team responsible for Microsoft 365 Modern Workplace products for businesses.  Specifically, Anderson oversees engineering and strategic leadership for security platform Enterprise Mobility + Security – a key part of Microsoft 365– and the Microsoft product for managing large groups of computers running Windows, called System Center Configuration Manager. Anderson's team include engineers who work on Microsoft 365 customer deployment and usage, Windows commercial products, management and security of PCs and mobile devices.  Emma Williams, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office Vertical Solutions As Microsoft Office Vertical Solutions corporate vice president, Emma Williams runs Office 365 solutions for industry verticals including health care, financial services, retail, manufacturing, and government. One of the biggest changes Satya Nadella has made at Microsoft is shifting the company from a focus on making general-purpose products to ones that can be tuned for specific industries, a Microsoft executive recently told Business Insider. Williams – a 16-year veteran of Microsoft – helps make that happen.  Now that the reorg has taken effect, Williams will report directly to Jha as a member of the Experiences and Devices leadership group.   Jon Friedman, corporate vice president of Microsoft Design & Research Jon Friedman is corporate vice president of Microsoft Design & Research, a position he describes on his LinkedIn profile as "the chief designer of Microsoft Office products." Friedman – responsible for the last major redesign of Microsoft Office – leads a team of 250 employees who research and design Microsoft products, including within Microsoft 365. Sumit Chauhan, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office Engineering Sumit Chauhan is Microsoft's Office Engineering corporate vice president, meaning she runs engineering for flagship products including Word and PowerPoint across mobile, web and desktop.  Chauhan's team is also responsible for infusing artificial intelligence into Microsoft's Office 365 cloud-based suite of productivity tools. Chauhan is a 24-year veteran of Microsoft who joined the company as a principal software developer in 1996.    Jaime Teevan, chief scientist of Microsoft Experiences & Devices Jamie Teevan is the chief scientist for Microsoft Devices and Experiences, which means she's the brains behind Microsoft's productivity innovations. She works with Microsoft's research team to get experts who can help contribute to the company's updates in productivity — across software and devices.  She has been at Microsoft since 2006 and was previously a technical advisor to CEO Satya Nadella and a principal researcher at Microsoft Research AI, where she led the productivity team.  She is an award-winning and leading computer scientist in her field, known particularly for her research on human-computer interaction and information retrieval and personalized search.      Tara Roth, corporate vice president of Office Customer Success Engineering (CSE) Tara Roth heads up the Office Customer Success Engineering team and looks at a few areas all linked to how Microsoft interacts with its customers. Her team is in charge of customer support, the help pages, and anything else that helps customers use Microsoft products. Her team is a key part of Microsoft's process for releasing new products and answering customer questions and concerns. Roth has been at Microsoft for 27 years, starting as an engineer in 1992.    Ales Holecek, corporate vice president of Office Engineering Ales Holecek is the corporate vice president of the engineering team that builds Microsoft Office applications. His team helps deliver the "modern office experience" to Microsoft customers.  Prior to joining the Office team, Holecek worked on the Windows Developer Ecosystem and Platform team, helping third party developers build on top of the Windows platform. As part of that he designed and built the Universal Windows Platform, an ambitious push to unify app development across Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, and the Xbox One gaming console. He's been at Microsoft since 2004. Now that the reorg has taken effect, Holecek and Joe Belfiore will lead Microsoft's Office and Office Experience Group team as "a product/engineering duo." Guarav Sareen, corporate vice president of Communication & Time Management Guarav Sareen leads the Communications and Time Management organization at Microsoft, overseeing engineering and product teams for Outlook, Skype and the Yammer corporate social network. Prior to that, he led the engineering team for Outlook.  Soon after Sareen joined Microsoft in 2001, he became of the engineers that helped build the Bing search engine. He continued to develop and grow Bing until 2016, when he switched gears to lead Outlook.       Harvinder Bhela, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Harvinder Bhela is in charge of product, engineering and research for Microsoft's security and compliance business. His team develops security and compliance tools that help Microsoft 365 customers make sure their employees are working safely and securely, while also integrating with other products. On his LinkedIn, Bhela calls the security and compliance "perhaps one of the largest growth engines for the M365 business," given that its a market worth over $50 billion per year.  Bhela has worked at Microsoft for 23 years, previously working in the Exchange, Outlook/, Office and Windows divisions.  Hayete Gallot, vice president of Modern Workplace WCB Hayete Gallot runs the sales team for the Modern Workplace Solutions team, helping to get Microsoft products in the hands of more businesses, and similarly to help those companies through their digital transformation.  She's got experience working both for the software and hardware divisions at Microsoft. Prior to her current role, she led the team responsible for developing new business models for Office products. Before that, she played a key role in developing Microsoft's Surface tablet division into a multi-billion-dollar business.      Rob Lefferts, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Rob Lefferts is in charge of making sure Microsoft 365 has simple and clear security for users across all its products. Prior to this role, he led the Windows Enterprise & Security team, and was responsible for the significant security upgrades in Windows 10. He's been at the company for 22 years, and has played a key role in developing many of Microsoft's technologies, and was a major driver in the creation of the Microsoft 365 strategy in the first place.   Joy Chik, corporate vice president of Microsoft Identity, Cloud & Enterprise Joy Chik is the corporate vice president for the Identity division in Microsoft's Cloud + AI group. She's responsible for a variety of cloud and identity management products, including Active Directory, the backbone of login security for Windows and other Microsoft products. Chik's role is key to every product Microsoft makes. Whenever any Microsoft product asks you to log in — from the Xbox games console to the Office 365 suite — chances are pretty good that it's using technology from Chik's team at some layer. Chik has been at the company for 22 years, starting as a software design engineer in 1998. Bob Davis, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 & Security Bob Davis is responsible for ensuring Microsoft customers across all industries (commercial, education, and public sector) are satisfied with the products. In his role he is in charge of the engineering and commercial & partner teams that help get a product ready for the market. Davis helped to build the first version of Office 365, Microsoft's cloud-based subscription suite of productivity tools. He joined the company in 1993 and helped it through its transition to the cloud computing era.  Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of Essential Products Group (EPIC) Joe Belfiore leads the engineering team that is responsible for Windows 10 and Microsoft's other "essential products" including Microsoft Edge, Microsoft News, OneNote, Education products, and mobile applications for iOS and Android.  Amid an executive shuffle in the division, Belfiore will soon switch over the the Office side of the company, to lead Microsoft's Office and Office experience group with Ales Holecek "as a product/engineering duo."  Since joining Microsoft in 1990, Belfiore has had a crucial role in building some of the most significant features for the Windows platform. That includes things like the Start Button in Windows 10 and the Cortana digital assistant.  He's been at Microsoft since 2004. Now that the reorg has taken effect, Belfiore and Ales Holecek will lead Microsoft's Office and Office Experience Group team as "a product/engineering duo."
AI head Ma Wei-Ying will leave Bytedance this week, as the company faces investigations and bans in its international markets.
Twitter was hacked in mid-July through a social engineering scheme that targeted employees, which resulted in world-famous people's accounts tweeting a bitcoin scam. The attack shows key areas of vulnerability for companies with remote workers, cybersecurity experts say.  Stopping social engineering scams that come in through email and giving cybersecurity pros better visibility into attacks are critical to stopping scams, experts say. Microsoft rolled out new tools Tuesday that address visibility into insider threats and other remote work issues. A former White House chief information officer says the Twitter hack should "chill us to the bone" – but worries that companies won't make the needed changes.  Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. After a scammer tricked a Twitter employee into providing access to high-level controls of the social network, it opened the door to an earth-shaking hack of the accounts of world-famous people in mid-July.  Few companies' computer systems are as public as Twitter's real-time feed, but many could be hacked in a similar way, experts say, due to a combination of factors intensified by remote work. While there are still some missing details and Twitter is not commenting beyond its blog post, here's how security experts say companies can protect themselves from a hack like Twitter's  – including new tools released Tuesday.   Don't click that odd link  Twitter, like many companies, has a remote workforce this summer, and isolated employees can be especially vulnerable to scams, experts say. Twitter wrote on its blog that "attackers targeted certain Twitter employees through a social engineering scheme."  That kind of attack often takes the shape of a phishing email that convinces the user to click on something that looks work-related, says Ed Bishop, chief technical officer of Tessian, a cybersecurity company that focuses on how people engage with email.  "Social engineering in a remote world is all around trying to think through the mindset of the user: What emails would they be expecting? What we're seeing is impersonation of services that are common with work-from-home situations," he said. For example, a remote worker might be more likely to click a link to a video conference that looks like it comes from a coworker, even if it's unfamiliar. "In the office you might ask a neighbor, 'Hey, are we using a new video call tool now?' But you can't do that now, so maybe you are more likely to click," he said.  When in doubt, don't click on a strange email or respond to it, Bishop says. Ask your coworkers or IT team about the email if it looks like it was sent internally. If an email feels suspicious but appears to come from a client, customer, or other contact, look up an email address for the supposed sender and start a new thread or contact them via their website. (Get more guidance from Tessian on helping your employees avoid phishing here.) "Remote workers are more vulnerable to phishing because we are all a little more unsuspecting and distracted at home," said Oren Falkowitz, cofounder of Area 1 Security. "Phishing comes in many forms, not only email." Beware the human element — and avoid it through education Twitter wrote that its hack was kicked off by "the intentional manipulation of people into performing certain actions and divulging confidential information."  The human element is often the key to major hacks, says Ryan Kalember, executive vice president of cybersecurity strategy at Proofpoint. "People continue to be the primary focus for threat actors. There are administrative tools on the backend at Twitter, and most organizations, that humans have to have access to and when they get compromised, it can result in fairly massive consequences." Even if a company has robust cybersecurity tools in place, the human beings that work there could still make the company vulnerable.  "Even the most sophisticated technologists, like those at Twitter, often overlook the human component of cybersecurity," says Anthony Grenga, vice president of cyber operations at IronNet. "Twitter employees had the ability to 'take over' accounts using an admin panel. Even though an insider may not have malicious intentions, opportunity – bribes, layoffs, conflict of opinions – may tip the scales."  And the employee may not even be aware they did anything wrong, Tessian's Bishop says. "You can absolutely be socially engineered and not have a clue that you've done anything.  How should companies avoid this hazard? Empower, educate, and empathize with employees. Companies should regularly train their employees on how to spot phishing emails and on other security hygiene practices — and make sure they're empowered to speak up if they sense anything fishy. A new empathetic approach is needed now, too, when dealing with remote employees, who are working away from the office and under the stress of a pandemic and economic downturn. New email tools and training may be needed that are tailored to this specific moment.  Attacks can move fast Another important aspect of the Twitter hack was the inability to spot it early. "We became aware of the attackers' action on Wednesday, and moved quickly to lock down and regain control of the compromised accounts," Twitter says in its blog. But they didn't move quick enough:  Hackers were shopping their access to Twitter controls on the darkweb in the days before hacked tweets spilled into the world from Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and many others who were cranking out phony bitcoin tweets. B ut Twitter isn't alone in being a day late to discover a hack. Only 58% of companies can determine vulnerable assets within 24 hours following news of critical exploits, according to new research from the cybersecurity firm Balbix. "Cybersecurity teams are struggling with a lack of visibility into major risk areas," Balbix said, noting 89% of cybersecurity professionals identified phishing as one of the biggest security threats, yet, only 48% said they are able to continuously monitor such threats with cybersecurity tools. Insider threats – an employee who is knowingly or unknowingly assisting in a hack – can move very quickly, says Yonathan Klijnsma, a threat researcher at RiskIQ, a company that makes cloud-based cybersecurity software to detect threats. "When access to the account of a Twitter support member was gained, it gave the bad guys instant access to everything," he says.  IT teams managing remote workers may need new tools to find threats. Microsoft just released new products Tuesday to help achieve this: New tools and training   On Tuesday Microsoft rolled out new "insider risk management" tools to its Microsoft 365 users, including data-loss prevention for employees' laptops. "Remote work, while keeping employees healthy during this time, also increases the distractions end users face, such as shared home workspaces and remote learning for children," the software giant said on its blog. "The current environment has also significantly increased stressors such as potential job loss or safety concerns, creating the potential for increased inadvertent or malicious leaks."  Twitter vows it is "rolling out additional company-wide training to guard against social engineering tactics to supplement the training employees receive during onboarding and ongoing phishing exercises throughout the year."  Training may not be enough, says Chloé Messdaghi, vice president of strategy at Point3 Security, which tries to make cybersecurity risk personal to employees through discussions and empathy-based exercises. "This should reinforce for most companies that the phishing situation is really something that people aren't taking seriously enough. No matter how much training you do, the human element is still there and many people are still apathetic when it comes to the cybersecurity of their company because they've never been directly affected by it."  That apathy is dangerous, says Theresa Payton, former White House chief information officer and CEO of cybersecurity consultancy Fortalice Solutions, who says the Twitter hack "should chill us to the bone." This is not just a Twitter problem, Payton says. This should be a wakeup call for all companies, she urges: "We're all in this pandemic together. We ignored all the past wake up calls to our detriment. The question is, are we hitting snooze again?"Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: The rise and fall of Donald Trump's $365 million airline
CEO Satya Nadella has made great strides in reforming Microsoft's public image — changing it from a place with a stodgy, combative culture into a leader in cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Successful startups founded by former Microsoft employees are also doing their part to change the $1.5 trillion tech titan's image, too. Business Insider asked seven former Microsoft employees who have founded venture-backed startups about how the company prepared them for running a startup, and how they think it's changed under Nadella. Are you a current or former Microsoft employee? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email ([email protected]). Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Microsoft once had a reputation for ill-preparing employees to create and run their own companies, a public image that haunted ex-employee founders.  Former Microsoft employees on a panel in 2015 said that their past association with the tech giant made it hard to raise money, and that their adaptation to the company's pace, bureaucracy, and fierce internal politics felt a stumbling block when they entered startup life, according to a report from Seattle-based tech news site GeekWire.  "For me, starting a startup and trying to raise money, I think it hurt," former Microsoft employee and location-sharing startup founder Bryan Trussell said at the time. "I was told it hurt."  Since then, Satya Nadella, who became CEO in 2014, has introduced a more collaborative company culture. The perception of Microsoft has shifted from stodgy and combative to much more innovative and fast-paced.  T.A. McCann, managing director of Seattle-based startup studio and VC fund Pioneer Square Labs, spent a few years at Microsoft and now advises entrepreneurs who build companies. As he's observed through personal experience and through his work, McCann said that Microsoft prepares entrepreneurs for startups by giving them an understanding of what it means to build a platform and a successful software organization. GeekWire more recently estimated that Microsoft veterans made up nearly 25% of the Seattle area's top technology startups as of last summer. With that said, there are also some aspects of being an ex-Microsoft worker that would affect a founder coming from any behemoth of a corporation. "In my experience, Microsoft founders have underappreciated how strong the Microsoft brand is," McCann said. If a Microsoft employee calls up a potential customer, they'll probably return the call, he said. That's not necessarily the case for a company without Microsoft's name recognition. Microsoft founders are also used to dealing with a much bigger scale. Instead of thinking about who their first customers will be, they're used to thinking about their first 500,000 customers.  But, McCann said, many former Microsoft employees have started successful startups. Business Insider also recently rounded up 13 former employees that built unicorn companies, including Daniel Dines of UIPath and Rich Barton, who cofounded the trifecta Expedia, Zillow, and Glassdoor. "The proof is out there," he said. We asked seven former Microsoft employees who have founded venture-backed startups about how the company prepared them for running a startup, and how they think it's changed under Nadella:SEE ALSO: Meet 13 former Microsoft power players who went on to found billion-dollar companies like Xiaomi, Zappos, and Valve Eugenio Pace, Auth0 Company: Auth0 Valuation: $1.16 billion as of May 2019, according to PitchBook Years at Microsoft: 12.5 Eugenio Pace spent more than a dozen years at Microsoft before leaving to start cybersecurity startup Auth0 in 2013. He's CEO of the company, which doubled its valuation in 2019 to more than $1 billion after just one year. Pace's most recent title at Microsoft was principal lead program manager. What's the biggest lesson you learned from Microsoft? "Microsoft is one of the best things that happened to me in my professional life. For starters, it helped me understand how to build software at a very large scale, for a global audience. I also learned about the importance of team and collaboration. People have this perception of Microsoft being this ultra-competitive, pointing-guns-at-each-other, sparring company. Though it may have happened in other teams, for the most part, I had a far more positive experience. I saw a general sense of collaboration, with strong respect for all the disciplines. You need all professions to run a successful organization, whether that is sales, marketing, customer success, or engineering. The focus on team and collaboration is something that we fundamentally value at Auth0 and something that I carried over from this incredibly valuable experience." How has Microsoft changed, from your perspective as an ex-employee, since Satya Nadella took over? "I can think of two aspects that have improved with Satya leading the company now, at least seen from outside. The first one is focus. It is tempting to do many things and Microsoft has such a wide scope of services and products that might have ended up being spread too thin, and with competing priorities for scarce resources. The second is higher sensitivity and appreciation for the broader ecosystem. It is the recognition of Microsoft as an important player, but one of many in a larger industry." Did Microsoft prepare you to become a startup founder/leader? How? "Spending 13 years at Microsoft laid the groundwork for learning how to build a great technology organization, one that understood the importance of value and teamwork, global reach, and long-term planning and strategy. My experience there helped formulate the three core values of our own culture at Auth0: 'We Give a Sh*t;' 'N + 1 > N;' and 'One Team, One Score.' The first one we call 'give a sh*t' is about care. It's a label we use for caring about everything we do and taking pride over your work. The second one, is about continuous improvement. We believe in a culture that is always permanently becoming better. Maybe one small step at a time. Sometimes you take bigger steps and so change doesn't need to be always small. The last one 'one team, one score' is about teams. There is no superfluous role within our company — we win as a team or we all lose." Manny Medina, Outreach Company: Outreach Valuation: $1.1 billion as of April 2019, according to PitchBook Years at Microsoft: Six Manny Medina cofounded sales software company Outreach in 2014 and serves as CEO. He's a former Microsoft director of business development. What's the biggest lesson you learned from Microsoft? "The most important thing I learned at Microsoft was not to look at the market as it stands right now — always look at the market for what it could be. That comes from talking to customers, understanding their pain, seeing all their unresolved issues, compiling it all into one picture and then squinting a little bit. Microsoft had all these philosophies like 'embrace and extend' and I think about it in the same way. You don't have to lock yourself into the way solutions are being handled right now. If you extend the problem to include other problems and you find solutions to solve other problems, then you can make the life of someone else easier - then you should go for that. That allows you to think bigger, find bigger markets, and address problems that aren't even in front of you. Never be afraid of that. Never take the current competitive market as a given but as an input.  A good example of this was in the cloud wars. It would have been easy for them to say, 'Amazon is so far ahead of us.' and that would have been it. But they said no, the cloud is a much a larger market - it's going to be this different version of hybrid, public, private, and everything in between. And by redefining the market that way, they bought themselves a much bigger [total available market] and a much bigger vision." How has Microsoft changed, from your perspective as an ex-employee, since Satya Nadella took over? "They have become a company that was a 'know-it-all' to one that wants to 'understand-it-all.' It's hungry for new learning and understanding, as opposed to a company that knows exactly what it wants to do. Now it's a company that asks more questions, collaborates, engages more. I've seen that from the way the invested in us and engaged with us on other projects. They are thinking about the future and the user as opposed to who's right and who's not. " Did Microsoft prepare you to become a startup founder/leader? How? "I don't think it made me a better startup CEO, it made me a better growth phase CEO. My experience at Microsoft helped me tremendously in this phase of growth at Outreach where we are moving from a handful of people to a billion-dollar valuation with international operations. My time there has helped me think more broadly, create systems, think about org, designs, and people as a competitive advantage." Robert Wahbe, Highspot Company: Highspot Valuation: $790 million as of December 2019 Years at Microsoft: 16 Robert Wahbe is a 16-year veteran of Microsoft who left the company in February 2012 to become cofounder and CEO of sales engagement company Highspot. Wahbe's most recent Microsoft position was corporate vice president of the company's server and tools division. What's the biggest lesson you've learned from Microsoft? "My experience at Microsoft showed me the power of building strong partnerships with technology and solution providers to amplify the business. From a customer perspective, it delivers incredible customer value when your solution seamlessly interoperates with existing technologies. And beyond customer satisfaction, partnerships allow your company to scale efficiently and innovate effectively. Partners play an essential role in ensuring your solution is implemented, leveraged, and valued, and that your product advances are easily absorbed by customers. What's more, your partners can provide valuable insights – they bring a unique perspective from talking to hundreds of customers across their segment that can inform what's working and what needs optimization. This enables swift innovation in areas that your customers care about." How has Microsoft changed, from your perspective as an ex-employee, since Satya Nadella took over? "Microsoft has embraced the broad technology ecosystem – from iOS to Linux Servers – making it easier to deploy, use, and integrate with Microsoft technologies. This shift not only gives consumers more choices, but it also makes a huge difference for technology partners like Highspot. When customers deploy Microsoft's technologies in a broad set of ways, our integrations with applications like Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Outlook are more leveraged." Did Microsoft prepare you to become a startup founder/leader? How? "I'm grateful for my time at Microsoft for multiple reasons, one of which being how my experience provided the foundational knowledge necessary for leading a hypergrowth company. Between holding engineering roles and serving as the corporate vice president of the server and tools division, I had unique opportunities to build software, lead teams, and develop business skills in a challenging yet supportive environment. Working directly under Bob Muglia and Satya Nadella was, to me, more valuable than any MBA. My Microsoft experience also gave me the insights that led to the genesis of Highspot, as my cofounders and I recognized the deep need for enablement. Now as Highspot continues to grow, the skills I gained help me provide value in functions across our business. Whether we're refining go-to-market strategies or debugging software issues, I strive to drive the company forward with both vision and hands-on contributions." Kieran Snyder, Textio Company: Textio Valuation: $127 million of as March 2020 Years at Microsoft: Nine Kieran Snyder worked at both Amazon and Microsoft before cofounding augmented writing software company Textio. At Microsoft, she was group program manager for Bing search user experience. At Amazon she worked as studio director for its advertising business. What's the biggest lesson you learned from Microsoft? "I learned that a product is a thing that people pay for in a sustainable way. Without a working revenue engine, you might have cool technology or a beautiful user experience, but you don't have a product. A product is the thing that drives a sustainable business.This was a real learning for me when I joined Microsoft after finishing my PhD. I had a deep research background and a strong technical foundation, but I had no significant business experience. I learned what it meant to make a software product for a billion people."How has Microsoft changed, from your perspective as an ex-employee, since Satya Nadella took over? "We started Textio not long after Satya became CEO, so I never worked at Microsoft during his tenure. When we've had conversations since, I've always been impressed with his thoughtfulness and intentionality. I'm not surprised that Microsoft has seen an industry resurgence under his leadership."Did Microsoft prepare you to become a startup founder/leader? How? "Prior to joining Microsoft, I never intended to work in the tech industry. Even when I joined, I was uncertain about my future in the industry. I thought I'd probably stay a year or two and then return to academia.I fell in love with the software industry during my time at Microsoft. Without my experience there, I certainly wouldn't have started a technology company myself.Throughout my time at Microsoft, I was trusted with big projects. I learned what it meant to build things that had impact, to work across teams and disciplines, and to make leadership decisions and tradeoffs. Those are all skills that I use every day as a founder and CEO." Diego Oppenheimer, Algorithmia Company: Algorithmia Valuation: $100 million as of May 2019, according to PitchBook Years at Microsoft: Five and a half Diego Oppenheimer is co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based AI and machine learning startup Algorithmia. Oppenheimer left Microsoft in 2013 and his most recent title at the company was program manager of Excel business intelligence. What's the biggest lesson you learned from Microsoft? "Nobody ships software at the frequency, size, and impact that Microsoft does. It's a truly unique experience to see software development and delivery at that scale. Specific to analytics, before leaving to start Algorithmia, I began looking more at predictive analytics and using code from Microsoft research for things like automatic pivot tables. I could directly see the difficulty of discovering and productionizing these models. I had the 'ah-ha' moment and saw the huge problem that needed to be solved." How has Microsoft changed, from your perspective as an ex-employee, since Satya Nadella took over? "Satya is a technologist with a deep understanding of his customer base. I observed this first when working with the server and tools organization. It amazes me still today that he is just as humble being one of the most powerful CEOs in the world as he was back then running divisions. What has changed? Satya's humility, attitude and technology-first approach has permeated down the entire ranks. One could argue that Microsoft is one of the best companies in the world to partner with - this was not the case many years ago." Did Microsoft prepare you to become a startup founder/leader? How? "Microsoft, being entrepreneurial by nature, valued creativity in tech and was really understanding of the curiosity I had in starting my own company. I had really great managers that supported me which made it easier. I received permission to moonlight, and would spend my days in Microsoft and my nights working late building Algorithmia. Previous to leaving, I had already been invested in start-ups as a coach and mentor with the Azure Techstars Accelerator, helping companies manage (key performance indicators) and analytics. Taking these steps helped me see the early journey of customer validation and early sales and build confidence around starting on a journey of my own." Geeman Yip, BitTitan Company: BitTitan Valuation: $90 million in June 2016 Years at Microsoft: Nearly nine BitTitan CEO Geeman Yip was a program manager at Microsoft before he left in 2007 to run the startup, which helps companies manage cloud services. Yip's biography on BitTitan's website said he was on the team that build the foundation of what is today Office 365, Microsoft's suite of business applications. What is the biggest lesson you learned from Microsoft? "From an operational perspective, I learned a great deal at Microsoft. For example, working at Microsoft gave me a window into what large scale engineering looks like and how to replicate that. I also learned about the different athletes that are required to deliver these types of products. The company gave me a first-hand view for how to ship large-scale software, which has been invaluable." How has Microsoft changed, from your perspective as an ex-employee, since Satya Nadella took over? "One of the things that has changed is that Microsoft's philosophy on partnership has shifted dramatically. It used to be more of a 'Microsoft's way or the highway' mentality. Today, Microsoft has broader open standards and is playing more effectively in the open source environment that is prevalent in IT now. They have pivoted to address shifts in the IT environment. You see their products working on Apple and other platforms giving you the same experience from your iPhone, Android, Linux, and other non-Microsoft technologies. I think Outlook is superior to other email platforms and we now have the choice to use Outlook instead of the built-in Apple product. That's a major shift in the company's philosophy since Satya Nadella came on board and it's impacted their culture and brand for the better." Did Microsoft prepare you to become a startup founder/leader? How? "No.  I did not have that level of responsibility or exposure at Microsoft. It is a big organization and that type of information just didn't trickle down. My focus there was on execution of goals, not running a company. I had to shift my thinking from simple execution and day-to-day operations to strategic thinking and becoming a people leader. Creating and running BitTitan has required leadership skills, creating clear expectations, and communicating those to our employees. To become successful, you must understand all aspects of the business, and then surround yourself with people who can share your passion for the product you have developed. In fact, it was the exact opposite. Microsoft is a very successful company with a lot of resources. It was difficult creating a startup with no funding and getting used to not having any resources at my disposal. Fast forward today, we are at a different stage. Now that we have the resources available, I can look back into those past experiences and deploy them properly in building an award-winning company." Davor Bonaci, Kaskada Company: Kaskada Valuation: $35 million as of February 2020 Years at Microsoft: Five Davor Bonaci, cofounder and CEO of big data analytics startup Kaskada, was a senior software development engineer at Microsoft for more than five years. He left in 2014 to spend time as a Google software engineer, and eventually cofounded the company in January 2018.  What's the biggest lesson you learned from Microsoft? "I was an engineer in the Windows organization, working in the kernel and the networking stack, back in the glory days of Windows. Across Microsoft, one superpower was our ability to build and ship software, on time and with high quality. Building an engineering organization that can deliver what users want, predictably and reliably, with timelines years into the future, is something that many people (mistakenly!) don't give enough credit to —and became a core principle that I've brought to every job since." How has Microsoft changed, from your perspective as an ex-employee, since Satya Nadella took over? "My time at Microsoft was during the Steve Ballmer era and the decreasing influence of Bill Gates. Lots has changed with Satya Nadella at the helm, or at least it seems so from an external perspective. I think Microsoft became a more open company, their products became more interoperable with others, and their users are now less locked into the platform. This change is perhaps best epitomized in their stance towards open source — once characterized as 'cancer' and now an integral part of their strategy." Did Microsoft prepare you to become a startup founder/leader? How? "I had a great time at Microsoft and fondly remember my time there. Microsoft's organizational rigor and process clarity — which are still unparalleled by any other company I've seen — prepared me to build and scale my own organization. Delivering reliable, high quality products is important for all companies — but especially for data companies serving enterprises, user trust is paramount. Our company, Kaskada, delivers a data platform for machine learning, and I strive to bring this quality, rigor, and clarity to everything we do."
Despite having antivirus and other advanced tools, there are always some chances that hackers, viruses, or any other intruder will ruin the security of your device.In such cases, the malware tends to terminate itself and hide from the detecting tools.Thus, the Microsoft Research team has developed a new system called Project Freta that scans malware on the cloud.Project Freta begins a roadmap towards trusted sensing for the clouds that can allow enterprises to engage in regular and complete discovery for this undetected malware.The Microsoft research developers have separated the security plane from the computing planes in a way that it can scan a large number of VMs or virtual machines without alerting them.Project Freta hides when it tries to detect the virtual machine’s memory without running anything on it to prevent the virtual machines from hiding themselves.Then Project Freta brings all the system objects that the VM holds based on an in-live memory snapshot of the Linux or Windows system.It also looks for processes, kernel modules, networks, in-memory files, and other things on the system.
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An” or the “Group”, HKEx:2318; SSE:601318) announced that the computer vision object detection model developed by Ping An Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An Technology”) has set a new record in the PASCAL VOC Challenge, one of the most authoritative competitions in the world to assess the design and innovation capabilities of AI algorithms.In the PASCAL VOC comp3 object detection challenge, Ping An Technology earned a mean average precision (mAP) of 86.5% and ranked first in 18 of 21 indicators, to take first place overall in a field of 59 competitors, including numerous notable artificial intelligence (AI) enterprises and AI laboratories in universities around the world.Object detection is the functionality to determine where there are the instances of a particular object class – such as a bird, a chair or a person – in an image, if any.The Pattern Analysis, Statistical Modelling and Computational Learning Visual Object Classes (PASCAL VOC) Challenges have attracted the participation of numerous tech giants and top research institutions including Intel, Alibaba, Tencent and Microsoft Research since they were launched in 2006.Fintech NewsObject detection is one of the three basic tasks in the field of computer vision.The VOC2012 comp3 challenge has been one of the fiercest PASCAL VOC competitions, due to the diversity of target types and scenarios and the relatively small data set.These make identification difficult but most accurately evaluates the detection performance of different algorithms.Ping An Technology’s NAS-YoLo model uses the company’s knowledge accumulated in automated machine learning and deep learning.It introduced AutoAugment and Neural Architecture Search (NAS) to the YoLo (You Only Look Once) model to significantly increase the precision of object detection.The model selects the most compatible data augmentation strategy for different data sets through AutoAugment, which resolves issues such as small data sets and difficult-to-enhance performance.
This story requires our BI Prime membership.To read the full article, simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content.
Silica aims to replace both tape and optical archival discs as the media of choice for large-scale, (very) long duration cold storage.Voxels may be written 100 or more layers deep in a 2mm-deep piece of glass, by focusing the laser to the desired depth within the block itself.Rowstron says he still doesn't expect anyone is likely to try to actually play Superman directly from its Silica record—but that's not what it's intended for.True long-term archival of data is a very expensive proposition.Its older analog audio and video tape recordings needed to be digitized, and its optical CD and DVD recordings needed to be read, checked for integrity, and burned onto new media before the original discs delaminated.If you assume a collection of 10,000 CDs and a team of three or four undergrads with CD-RW drives and a huge stack of discs, you're looking at more than a year of full-time work to refresh them.
Teaching software to talk using chatter lifted from internet forums, such as Reddit, is risky.Before crafting their chatbot, the Microsoft team attempted to cleanse the software's training data set, consisting of 147,116,725 dialogue instances or posts made on Reddit from 2005 to 2017, by avoiding subreddits talking about topics that could potentially be inappropriate or offensive.By training the model, known as DIALOGPT, on seemingly harmless inputs, it was hoped that whatever the code spits out during conversation will be non-offensive and corporate safe.As a result of this fear that the software could go off the rails and cause embarrassment for the Windows giant, the researchers have withheld a decoder component, a vital part of system.You'll have to figure that out yourself and face whatever the consequences are.“The onus of decoder implementation resides with the user,” the group noted.