Microsoft announced a new facility on Tuesday that will serve as the company’s war room when things get a little hairy on the cybersecurity front.
Just like President Barack Obama has the situation room waiting in the basement of the White House with direct lines to his advisors all around the world, Microsoft’s new “Cyber Defense Operations Center” was built as a nerve center to give the company around the clock access to whatever it needs to respond to cyber threats.
The Redmond facility, which opened on Nov. 9, is staffed 24×7 by security experts from across the company. It also maintains direct lines of communication with engineers, data analysts, as well as outside partners, customers and governments.
The idea is that whenever Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, customer-facing products or internal systems come under attack, this one facility will have everything the company needs to solve the problem.
A Microsoft spokesperson said all of this is in addition to other security-focused teams the company already uses for these kinds of responses, like the Microsoft Security Response Center. These experts used to be spread across the company’s sprawling campus, but the Cyber Defense Operations Center aims to bring them together.
The New York Times recently got a chance to tour the new facility while Microsoft was busy putting on the finishing touches on the space.
“They [security managers] might still sit in different organizations, but they sit together, and they work together,” Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith told the NYT. “We’re connecting the information systems so that people see the complete picture and not just information silos.”
Tuesday’s announcement came as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella delivered a keynote address in Washington, D.C. where he talked about the company’s new approach to dealing with cyber attacks.
The company also formed a new Microsoft Enterprise Cybersecurity Group to work with customers on security issues.
Security has historically been a difficult topic for Microsoft, as the company struggled for years to keep up with changes in the security landscape. But that’s changed as Microsoft continues to double down on its cloud offerings, with a particular focus on privacy and security.