Satya Nadella delivered a keynote address in Washington D.C. earlier today. He talked specifically how there is a need for a new approach to security. Microsoft’s Chief Information Security Officer attended the event as well and has posted a blog post on how Microsoft plans to use its resources to help protect its customers. Specifically he talks about, “. . . how Microsoft technologies work in tandem with each other, and with solutions from the security ecosystem, to deliver a holistic, agile, security platform for today’s enterprise.”
He goes on to explain the importance of a new type of security approach in the mobile first, cloud first world. This approach is to ‘Protect, Detect, and Respond’ to security threats:
“We must better Protect all endpoints – from sensors and datacenters to identities and SaaS applications. We must move faster to Detect threats using the scale and intelligence of the cloud, machine learning and behavioral monitoring. We must Respond more quickly and comprehensively, and empower our customers with insights that are actionable and holistic.”
Microsoft invests more than a billion dollars each year in its attempt to create a “comprehensive, cross company approach to security”. Some of this can be seen in its Cyber Defense Operations Center which is a state of the art facility that facilitates Microsoft to protect, detect, and respond to any threats in real-time.
In order to bring this protection to the customers directly, Nadella announced the Microsoft Enterprise Cybersecurity Group (ECG). This is a group will do the following:
“This dedicated group of worldwide security experts delivers security solutions, expertise and services that empower organizations to modernize their IT platforms, securely move to the cloud and keep data safe. ECG offers security assessments, provides ongoing monitoring and threat detection, and incident response capabilities. ECG helps customers take advantage of Microsoft’s best-in-class security and privacy technologies to optimize their investments and confidently advance their security postures.”
Throughout the keynote Nadella showed how Microsoft has been placing security innovations throughout its products including Windows 10, Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite. These features work together to create a “holistic, agile, security platform.”
Examples it provided of these features are:
To protect against password related attacks Windows 10’s Microsoft Passport and Windows Hello use strong biometrics to eliminate the need for passwords and Credential Guard protects from pass the hash attacks – where hackers use one account to gain access to the credentials of another user – with new virtualization technology. Should a compromise occur Advanced Threat Analytics detects anomalous patterns and recommends configuration changes to help protect your environment and users. And Azure Active Directory simplifies password and identity management – for IT and users – by federating identities across business and consumer services to make maintain and signing into multiple services simpler and more secure.
To protect against accidental or intentional data loss Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) provides features that help IT protect and manage corporate applications and data on any Windows, iOS and Android device. As an increasing number of employees work from personal devices we are having to balance use privacy with the need to protect the confidentiality of corporate apps and data. To enable this scenario, today we started rolling out support for mobile application management without the need to enroll the device. We are also excited to announce that Box and Adobe will offer new Microsoft Intune native apps on iOS and Android to help prevent accidental sharing of confidential corporate data to personal locations or cloud services and, custom SAP Fiori mobile apps, built by customers using SAP Fiori mobile service, will also support Intune mobile app management. Azure Rights Management Services (RMS) protects nearly any type of data – in motion or at rest – and, once available, Windows 10 Enterprise Data Protection will take our data loss and protection efforts one step further by building personal /corporate data separation directly into the OS, with encryption and app restriction policies. Also, starting December 1, Customer Lockbox will offer customers full control over access to their data in Office 365 and Equivio Analytics for eDiscovery, which brings new machine learning and text analytics to help reduce the costs and risks inherent in managing large quantities of data for eDiscovery.
To protect against malware Windows 10 Device Guard uses a combination of hardware and software features to prevent the installation of untrusted or malicious code, Windows Defender provides built in protection for all Windows 10 users and Office 365’s Advanced Threat Protection helps protect against users inadvertently downloading and installing untrusted software.
To help you detect and respond to successful attacks Advanced Threat Analytics speeds up your response by detecting anomalous patterns and recommends configuration changes to protect you from current and future attacks while Azure Security Center, now in private preview, works with companies like Barracuda, Checkpoint, Cisco Systems Inc., CloudFlare, F5 Networks, Imperva, Incapsula, and Trend Micro Inc. to offer advanced, analytics-driven threat detection that helps you protect, detect and respond to security threats in real-time.”
It is great to see that Microsoft is taking security so seriously that they have a company-wide plan. Privacy and security as we move more of our personal data into the cloud must be at the forefront of technology development as we move forward. The blog post is great and it includes links to the keynote as well as a few other pertinent blog posts that I encourage you to check out at the source link below.