The US Department of Defense is quietly ending one of its longest-running cybersecurity programs that protect its global IT network and replacing it with off-the-shelf tools from Microsoft. Many experts oppose this decision, arguing that this transition will make systems more vulnerable to hacking attacks, reports Newsweek.
According to the newspaper, the "overwhelming majority" of senior IT executives in the military are opposed to abandoning the old software. In their opinion, it is dangerous to rely exclusively on Microsoft programs, especially since they are far from invulnerable. In March of this year, for example, it was revealed that hackers (believed to be Russian military intelligence operatives) had been secretly exploiting a vulnerability in the Microsoft Outlook email program for almost a year.
Microsoft currently ranks first in the number of software vulnerabilities. The federal government monitors more than 900 software vulnerabilities that cybercriminals and hackers exploit. As of April, Microsoft had more known exploitable vulnerabilities than the next five software vendors combined.
According to the newspaper, the Pentagon's decision to switch to Microsoft's security tools, particularly Microsoft Defender, may be at odds with the White House's new cybersecurity strategy, which calls for software makers to primarily offer secure products rather than sell additional security measures.