Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT -0.56% announced Thursday it was throwing its hat into the AI-based security ring with the release of its Azure Sentinel product ahead of one of cybersecurity's biggest trade shows. In a briefing, Ann Johnson, who heads Microsoft's cybersecurity solutions group, said Azure Sentinel is the first native security information and event management, or SIEM, tool within a major cloud platform. In the push for an AI-based security platform, Johnson once again cited an estimate from research firm Cybersecurity Ventures that the industry faces a shortage of about 3.5 million qualified workers by 2022. Johnson said early adopters of Azure Sentinel have reported an up to 90% reduction of alert fatigue, where already stressed cybersecurity workers find themselves chasing what prove to be false alarms, and that threat-hunting times that used to take hours are being reduced to seconds. The company also announced its Microsoft Threat Experts product within Windows Defender, where users can click the "Ask a Threat Expert" button to submit questions directly to Microsoft staff. Microsoft's announcement looks to be one of several days before the start of the weeklong RSA Conference 2019 in San Francisco on Monday. On Tuesday, Palo Alto Networks Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207599953/composite PANW +1.20% announced its Cortex product, which the company hailed as "the industry's only open and integrated, AI-based continuous security platform" and appeared well received by analysts.