Microsoft names new CISO as it aims to combat increasing cybersecurity threats

 Microsoft logo.
Microsoft logo.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft CISO Bret Arsenault will leave his current role and become Chief Security Advisor at the company next year.

  • Igor Tsyganskiy will replace Arsenault as CISO effective January 1, 2024.

  • In his new role, Arsenault will oversee Microsoft's partners, customers, government clients, and important communities.

Bret Arsenault, who has served as Microsoft Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for 14 years, will shift to a new role at the company. Arsenault will become Microsoft's Chief Security Advisor, which focuses on "escalating [Microsoft's] impact across the entire ecosystem," according to Microsoft Executive President of Security Charlie Bell. Igor Tsyganskiy will replace Arsenault effective January 1, 2024.

Bell shared the move on LinkedIn and emphasized the importance of security, especially when considering advancements in technology.

"Security is more important than ever for our customers, partners, and Microsoft. So much of the world depends on Microsoft for its digital safety and we need look no further than the news headlines to know we live in a rapidly evolving threat landscape, one that is highly demanding and drives us to continually innovate and deliver," Bell said.

"Navigating all this requires a tremendous amount of leadership know-how and experience – I’m lucky to work with a group of leaders at Microsoft that work every day to make the world a safer place."

Arsenault's new role of Chief Security Advistor will oversee Microsoft and its partners, customers, government agencies it works with, and "important communities."

During his time as Microsoft CISO, Arsenault drove the company's Zero Trust strategy. Bell highlighted that Arsenault is "one of the most respected global security leaders on the planet."

Arsenault will continue to work with Bell and Tsyganskiy in his new advisory role.

Tsyganskiy has worked in high-scale and high-security environments. The soon-to-be Microsoft CISO took to LinkedIn to respond to the news.

"Thank you Charlie Bell, I am humbled and honored to take a responsibility of protecting Microsoft with a large and dedicated community of security professionals all over the world," said Tsyganskiy.

"Thank you Bret Arsenault for the hard work and amazing contributions you have made to our industry."

Improving cybersecurity with AI

Microsoft Outlook on Android
Microsoft Outlook on Android

Cybersecurity has become more complex over the years as technology advances. Attackers use sophisticated methods to utilize vulnerabilities across sectors, including artificial intelligence. Microsoft plans to use AI as well, but to stop attacks.

Micrsoft and its services have been the target of several major attacks over the last few years. The company faced scrutiny after suspected Chinese hackers saw U.S. government emails. Earlier this year, Russian hacker group Midnight Blizzard compromised Microsoft 365 tenants as part of an attack. DDOS attacks disrupted Office 365 back in June 2023, and a security breach affected as many as 65,000 companies in 2022.

With Microsoft services so prevalent across industries, they're constantly under attack. Microsoft's new security leadership setup and efforts to use AI to counter attacks are part of an evolving strategy to improve cybersecurity.