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Microsoft (MSFT) Set to Purchase RiskIQ to Boost Cybersecurity

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Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) recently announced its intent to purchase RiskIQ — which specializes in attack surface management — for undisclosed financial terms.

RiskIQ will be Microsoft’s second acquisition in two months, which is aimed toward bolstering the tech giant’s cybersecurity business. In Jun 2021, Microsoft acquired firmware security specialist, ReFirm Labs, to improve security for Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices. Microsoft added that the ReFirm Labs’ buyout will help safeguard clients’ operations from ”chip to the cloud”.

RiskIQ aids business enterprises to evaluate the defense of their enterprise attack surface across environments like cloud, on-premises as well as supply chain and thwart cyberattacks for susceptible business assets .

RiskIQ also provides its clients with global threat intelligence input. The start-up gathers threat intelligence input from the internet, which is then “crowd-sourced through its PassiveTotal community of security researchers” and is probed by leveraging machine learning (ML), noted Microsoft.

Heightened Need for Cybersecurity Bodes Well For Microsoft

According to data from Mordor Intelligence report, the global cybersecurity market is anticipated to witness a CAGR of 14.5% between 2021 and 2026 and reach $352.25 billion.  

Rising instances of sophisticated cyberattacks is fueling demand for robust security solutions. The attacks have considerably risen in the wake of COVID-19 crisis as hackers take advantage of continuation of remote work as well as mainstream adoption of hybrid/distributed work model.

Enterprises’ adoption of bring-your-own device (BYOD) policy amid continuation of work from home has led to substantial increases in number of network end-points. This poses heightened cyber-security threats.  

Microsoft is striving to enhance its cybersecurity solutions’ portfolio (which includes Microsoft Azure Defender, Microsoft 365 Defender, Microsoft Azure Sentinel) to provide clients end-to-end cloud security.

The company is leveraging innovative technologies like ML, automated software and behavioural analysis to augment cybersecurity offerings. Last year, Microsoft acquired CyberX, to power Azure IoT portfolio with security capabilities.

Microsoft’s estimated investments in security and data protection and risk management are around $1 billion on an annual basis.

Advanced security offerings powered by innovative technologies is expected to result in higher adoption of the company’s security solutions.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Microsoft currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector worth considering are Jabil (JBL - Free Report) , Intuit (INTU - Free Report) and Zoom Video (ZM - Free Report) . All the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The long-term earnings growth rate for Jabil, Intuit and Zoom Video is currently pegged at 12%, 14.8% and 15.6%, respectively.