Scott Charney, the head of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing efforts, said that he was the one who decided it was time to move the TwC group in a new direction and integrate the security functions more deeply into the company as a whole.
“I was the architect of these changes. This is not about the company’s loss of focus or diminution of commitment. Rather, in my view, these changes are necessary if we are to advance the state of trust in computing,” Charney, the corporate vice president of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post.
The Trustworthy Computing team was an outgrowth of the effort that Microsoft started in 2002 to build more secure software. Modest at first, the TwC group eventually grew into a large team of engineers, developers and executives and became one of the more influential groups in the company. Charney, a former Department of Justice lawyer who joined Microsoft just as the security push was getting off the ground in 2002, said that the move to disperse the TwC team into different groups and change the reporting structure would help the company react more quickly and be more efficient with security related decisions.
“By consolidating work within the company, as well as altering some reporting structures, Microsoft will be able to make a number of trust-related decisions more quickly and execute plans with greater speed, whether the objective is to get innovations into the hands of our customers, improve our engineering systems, ensure compliance with legal or corporate policies, or engage with regulators around the world,” Charney wrote in the post.
One of the key functions of the TwC team over the years has been the development and implementation of the Security Development Lifecycle, the comprehensive development, engineering and deployment program that’s meant to build security into the company’s products from the beginning. Charney said that the SDL will remain the responsibility of the part of the TwC group that’s moving to the Cloud and Enterprise Division.
“I will continue to lead the Trustworthy Computing team in our new home as part of the Cloud and Enterprise Division. Significantly, Trustworthy Computing will maintain our company-wide responsibility for centrally driven programs such as the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) and Online Security Assurance (OSA). But this change will also allow us to embed ourselves more fully in the engineering division most responsible for the future of cloud and security, while increasing the impact of our critical work on privacy issues by integrating those functions directly into the appropriate engineering and legal policy organizations,” Charney said.
The change to the TwC group became public last week as the company was in the process of laying off 2,100 employees as part of a series of internal changes.