The Department of Defense (DoD) is about to acquire enterprise software in a way that could grant one company a near-certain monopoly and potentially create serious cybersecurity risks. For years, the Pentagon has licensed Microsoft’s Office 365 (O365) as the basis for its essential productivity functions. But now the department is poised to acquire a particular version of Office 365 with enhanced features, particularly related to cybersecurity. While some would argue that this is an efficient solution, depending on one software bundle that does everything from e-mail and word processing to advanced security may not be the most effective or safe approach. Buying the enhanced license will not only extend Microsoft’s virtual monopoly on productivity software for the Pentagon, but lock DoD into reliance on its security applications. In the constantly evolving world of cyber threats and responses, it is a serious mistake to rely solely on one company for all network security needs. I have written more on this topic here.
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