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Microsoft launches new cyber security features and tools

29/03/2016 by


Microsoft has announced new features for its Office 365 and Azure cloud service as part of its renewed focus on improving the management and transparency of cyber security. Microsoft spokesperson Reed Turner claims the software and products will enable enterprise customers to evolve “their security posture from a simple protect-recovery model to more holistic posture that includes protect, detect and respond capabilities.”

The most notable aspects of the security plan include additional management and reporting options in the Azure Security Centre so users are also able to change and scale their policies depending on the type of workload. Also, a new power BI Dashboard for better security analytics enables enterprises to set up and filter security alerts so they can discover and respond to attack patterns and trends accordingly.

There will also be an updated Microsoft Operations Management Suite that provides more in-depth information and details, and a new Office 365 mobile security app called Microsoft Cloud App Security. The final key addition is Azure Directory Identity Protection, which was previewed for the first time in early March and aims to leverage Microsoft’s own mass of data to detect suspicious end-user activities.

The tech giant’s latest approach to security reflects the realities of a digital age that has now shifted towards mobile and the cloud. Microsoft has said that it is now aiming to invest in several major areas: Intelligent security graph, secure platform and working with partners. The new features will also improve security in cloud apps such as Salesforce and ServiceNow, and will provide SMEs and large corporations with the agility they require to secure their applications, personal data, devices and infrastructure – whether it is on premise, in the cloud or part of a hybrid solution.

VMware has also recently highlighted the on-going struggles facing IT security management with a new whitepaper about universities. VMware’s research shows that 36% of UK universities are the victims of a cyber attack every hour, while 83% believe the hacks and exploits are becoming increasingly sophisticated and targeted. It also highlighted a growing threat from within as almost two thirds of CIOs said that domestic students pose a threat to internal data.

The study by the virtualisation and cloud infrastructure provider also shows that enterprises need to adopt a holistic approach to security in order to combat threats, according to UK HE-Shared Services director Paul Hopkins. He concluded: “They must take a holistic approach to security, striking a balance to ensure critical research data is adequately protected without prohibiting or impeding researchers.”

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