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CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz: Microsoft’s Security Offerings Are A ‘Leaky Lifeboat’

Jay Fitzgerald

‘If getting a free leaky lifeboat is something that people want to get to their customer or the customer wants to have, you got your leaky lifeboat. Or maybe it leaks. Maybe it doesn’t. But if you want the best security outcome, there are other solutions that are out there,’ CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz says in an XChange Best of Breed interview.

George Kurtz says he’s not one to mince words, and the co-founder and CEO of cybersecurity giant CrowdStrike proved it once again at this week’s XChange Best of Breed conference in Atlanta.

Appearing before hundreds of tech vendors, channel partners and others attending the annual event hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company, the outspoken Kurtz discussed a wide range of security-related issues confronting industry players and customers alike.

Among the topics raised are his views on annual recurring revenue for partners, CrowdStrike’s new “elite” category of channel players, and how his cloud-native security company is benefiting from customers’ negative reactions to the proposed Broadcom-VMware merger, a topic CRN covered earlier this week.

But Kurtz, who has criticized Microsoft in the past over security issues, tangled with the huge Redmond, Wash.-based company once again this week. Among other things, he attributed a majority of certain cyberbreaches to Microsoft products, compared the software behemoth’s total security offerings to a “leaky lifeboat” and called its authentication architecture “a mess.”

Responding to a CRN request for comment, a Microsoft spokesman issued a statement in reaction to Kurtz’s comments: “While some competitors lead with innuendo and self-serving claims, Microsoft believes security is a team sport and we gather and act on 43 trillion security signals every day to protect customers and partner with fellow defenders across the industry, making the world a safer place. Our customers choose Microsoft because we deliver the most integrated security portfolio. On average, customers save more than 60 percent when they turn to Microsoft for comprehensive security, compared to a multivendor security implementation.”

The following are excerpts from Kurtz’s XChange Best of Breed discussion with The Channel Company Founding Partner Robert Faletra and CRN Executive Editor, News Steven Burke.

 
Jay Fitzgerald

Jay Fitzgerald is a senior editor covering cybersecurity for CRN. Jay previously freelanced for the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Boston magazine, Banker & Tradesman, MassterList.com, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, the National Bureau of Economic Research and other entities. He can be reached at jfitzgerald@thechannelcompany.com.

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