These days, our identities are pretty much dictated by our online lives: bank accounts, social sharing, emails and shopping can all be done via the miracle of the World Wide Web. Unfortunately, that also gives rise to a new breed of cybercriminals like malware, botnets and child exploitation, resulting in a $500 billion dollars lost from the global economy each year, according to Microsoft.
In the fight against cybercrime, Microsoft has created a high-tech, futuristic "Cybercrime Center," specifically designed to protect its users from having precious data and passwords stolen from right under their keyboards. Located in the already existing Redmond, WA HQ, the Cybercrime Center provides a base for the Digital Crimes Unit and is equipped with high-tech hardware and software like SitePrint and PhotoDNA designed to neutralize a cybercriminal's career.
Looking much like an ultra-modern, advanced and capable crime-stopping hub, the Cybercrime Center contains long hallways equipped with video screens that display case studies, statistics and news clips as you stroll by. Chrome, wood and glass help create an atmosphere conducive to crime-stopping duties.
A forensic lab in the center allows employees to analyze sensitive materials like activation codes, which are time-lapsed and scanned to create a map, locating precisely where a stolen laptop had come online. The employees themselves are hand-picked and come from a medley of different backgrounds, like federal prosecutors, technical analysts, engineers and physicists.
By using the lab's cutting edge technology, Microsoft hopes to be one or two steps ahead of cyber criminals, which it likens to a "high-stakes game of chess." As we become more invested in online activities, patrol centers like Microsoft's seem to be indispensable in the future.
(Photo Credit: Microsoft)