United States – Microsoft (MSFT. O) President Brad Smith testified on Thursday at a House Homeland Security committee on the company’s security measures and affiliation with China, a year after the alleged hackers’ intrusion into the firm to spy on federal emails.

Security Breaches and Intrusions

They got hold of 60,000 U. S. State Department emails by penetrating into Microsoft’s systems in the summer of last year, while additional Russia-linked cybercriminals eavesdropped on Microsoft senior staff emails this year, the company has reported.

The hearing is taking place at a time when federal authorities are enhancing their attention on Microsoft, a dominant global software maker and an important supplier to the White House and other executive branches of the U.S. administration. According to Smith, who gave his testimony at the hearing, Microsoft’s business accounts for approximately 3% of the U.S. federal IT budget, as reported by Reuters.

Legislators fired the company for not stopping both the Russian and Chinese hacks, stating that they exposed federal networks to hackers even though they did not employ complex techniques.

Further, the company emails penetrated by Russian hackers also “encompassed messages to official government email addresses,” Democrat Bennie Thompson stated.

“Microsoft is one of the federal government’s most important technology and security partners, but we cannot afford to allow the importance of that relationship to enable complacency or interfere with our oversight,” he added.

Transparency Issues and Accountability

Specifically, legislators relied on the conclusions of an Open Letter released by CSRB in April, which accused Microsoft of being non-transparent about the China hack while stressing that the hack could have been prevented.

“We accept responsibility for every finding in the CSRB report,” Smith said at the hearing, adding that Microsoft had begun acting on most of the report’s recommendations.

Challenges in Cybersecurity Landscape

“We’re dealing with formidable foes in China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and they’re getting better,” said Smith. “They’re getting more aggressive … They’re waging attacks at an extraordinary rate.”

Thompson lambasted Smith’s company for not being able to identify the hack, which was identified by the U.S. State Department. Smith responded, ‘That’s the way it should work. No one player in the ecosystem has visibility toward everything.’

But Congressman Thompson seemed not to agree.

“It’s not our job to find the culprits. That’s what we’re paying you for,” Thompson said.

Panel members also quizzed Smith further on Microsoft’s operations in China, pointing out that it has heavily invested in establishing research promotional centers there.

“Microsoft’s presence in China creates a mix of complex challenges and risks,” stated chairman of the panel Congressman Mark Green from Mississippi.

Microsoft earns around 1.5% of its revenue coming from China and is in the process of ‘de-engineering’ the country, said Smith.

The company has come under much more criticism from its peers in the security industry over the past one year due to the breaches and the lack of visibility.

Some panelists, including Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, praised Smith’s responses during the hearing. “You said you accept a responsibility, and I just want to commend you for that,” Greene said to him, as reported by Reuters.

Future Steps and Commitment to Security

After the board criticisms, Microsoft stated that the company was in the process of enhancing procedures and implementing security standards. In November, it started a new cybersecurity drive and declared that it has placed security ‘above all else—on par with all the other features.