Microsoft releases two new cybersecurity options ahead of global security conference

Seemingly, everyday customers who choose to live, at least part of their lives ‘online,’ trade small amounts of their data and security for convenience and accessibility.

Login credentials, social security numbers, mother’s maiden names, credit card info, street and email addresses, phone numbers and more, are all pieces of personal information bandied about on the internet as customers barter sensitive data to have packages shipped, discounts amassed, cloud storage enabled or personalized ads and marketing delivered to them.

Unfortunately, companies that used to traffic in secure personal data in an era of more traditional transfers are now struggling to keep pace with cybersecurity loop-holes, threats and attacks.

Fortunately, those same companies are being offered tools to help mitigate the exposure of their customer’s info with two new product services from Microsoft dubbed Microsoft Azure Sentinel and Microsoft Threat Experts.

According to a new post on Microsoft Security from corporate vp of Security Rob Lefferts, Microsoft’s new tools are aimed at helping partners who are suffering from a ‘cybersecurity talent shortage’ find a way to circumvent their security liability and exposure.

As Lefferts prepares to attend the RSA Conference in San Francisco, California where the focus will be on corporate security, he’s noting the progress Microsoft has achieved regarding the shifting landscape of cybersecurity as well as some added security controls for customers of Azure and Microsoft 365.

Progress

  • There are now 50 partners participating in the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association, a group of technology providers who have integrated their solutions with Microsoft products to provide customers better protection, detection, and response. New members include: Sophos, Citrix, Adobe, and Symantec.
  • The Microsoft Graph Security API now has new capabilities that allow you to share threat indicators to extend detection, easily invoke powerful investigation and remediation activities, and build better connected security apps and workflows without the need to code.
  • Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), which already provides authentication for more than 810,000 applications for our enterprise customers, now integrates with several Zscaler applications. With both Azure AD and Zscaler supporting the SCIM 2.0 standard, our joint customers can now use the Azure AD provisioning service to automate the life-cycle of user and group accounts, giving you a more secure and scalable way to allow user access to Zscaler applications.

New Azure & Microsoft 365 features

  • Threat intelligence-based filtering is now available for Azure Firewall. This addition enables customers to alert or deny traffic from/to malicious IP addresses and domains based on the near real-time data feed powered by the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph.
  • Azure Security Center now leverages machine learning to reduce the attack surface of internet-facing virtual machines, and its application whitelisting controls have been extended to Linux and on-premises servers. The network map in Azure Security Center extends support for Virtual Network peering, a commonly used networking configuration in which traffic flows between Azure Virtual Networks through the Microsoft backbone.
  • Microsoft Threat Protection now provides automated investigation and remediation in the Microsoft Security Center, a unified console that helps SecOps teams spend their limited time on the most high-value tasks, like proactive hunting and strategic improvements.
  • We are extending our unique, native integration between Microsoft Cloud App Security and Azure AD conditional access. Out-of-the box templates now enable organizations to configure some of our most popular policies, such as blocking the download of sensitive content in real-time, within seconds.
  • New native capabilities in the Microsoft Office 365 version of Office client applications help document and email authors apply the right classification and sensitivity labels, helping you ensure information is protected in accordance with your organization’s policies.

In addition to the above highlights, Microsoft is also pushing forward with security features for the emerging IoT industry by working with the Industrial Internet Consortium on its new IoT Security Maturity Model as well as adding new deployment methods for Azure Sphere by tacking on new guardian modules. Both initiatives are intended to educate as well mitigate deployment risk for fleets of IoT devices.

For more details regarding Microsoft 365, Azure Sphere, or the newly announced Azure Sentinel and Threat Experts, visit their well-documented presence at Microsoft Security, here.

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