Microsoft announces new mobile-first, cloud-first enterprise security efforts

Michael Cottuli

Microsoft has made security a priority throughout every aspect of its business and many people would argue is a necessity for a technology behemoth of their caliber. The company felt so strongly about making its dedication to security known, it had Brett Arsenault, Chief Information Security Officer for Microsoft, make an official announcement about. In a Microsoft blog post, Arsenault highlights some of the things that the company has done to keep both its information and the information of its customers secure as well as how Microsoft plans to continue doing so in the future.

In the post, Arsenault didn’t just make clear what Microsoft has already done – he also announced a few initiatives that the company is going over in the future. Arsenault made a fairly significant compilation of all of the things that Microsoft has done in security as of late, but we’ll round up the highlights for you below.

  • Microsoft Cloud App Security, based on the Adallom technology, will become generally available in April 2016. Microsoft Cloud App Security brings the same level of visibility and control that IT departments have in their on-premises network to their SaaS applications including apps like Box, SalesForce, ServiceNow, Ariba, and of course Office 365.
  • Microsoft Cloud App Security will also power new advanced security management capabilities built into Office 365 that will improve IT visibility and control. These new capabilities include advanced security alerts, cloud app discovery, and app permissions.
  • Customer Lockbox for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business will begin rolling out in early Q2 of this year. By extending Customer Lockbox to additional Office 365 services, we’re providing customers new approval rights, greater transparency and enhanced control over their data in Office 365.
  • Azure Active Directory Identity Protection will be available for public preview next week. This new system will be keeping track of suspicious activities that result in “brute force attacks” or “leaked credentials,” creating an accurate snapshot of significant problems in digital security and helping users protect against the problems that are relevant to them.
  • Microsoft will be expanding Azure Security Center partner offerings. In the next few weeks, Azure Security Center will discover deployments for which a Next Generation Firewall is recommended, and enable customers to provision Check Point vSEC in just a few clicks. Next Generation Firewall solutions from Cisco and Fortinet will follow, as will Web Application Firewall solutions Imperva SecureSphere and Imperva Incapsula. Alerts from these partner solutions will also be integrated in Security Center so customers can view and respond to security issues affecting their Azure resources in one place.

It’s clear that Microsoft won’t stop adding new security measures to its services anytime soon. With the world becoming further invested in the cloud every day, the necessity to protect sensitive data stored in services like Azure becomes more and more vital. With Microsoft continuing to lead initiatives like the ones outlined in Brett Arsenault’s post, we should be feeling a bit safer as we go into the future of information storage and sharing.