Microsoft Security Announces New Multicloud Capabilities

Microsoft announced new advances that to help customers strengthen visibility and control across multiple cloud providers, workloads, devices, and digital identities—all from a centralized management view. New features and offerings are designed to secure the foundations of hybrid work and digital transformation.

According to the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report, 92 percent of respondents are using a multicloud model, meaning they rely on apps and infrastructure from multiple cloud providers. Another recent survey sponsored by Microsoft shows that 73% of respondents say it’s challenging to manage multicloud environments. For organizations to fully embrace these multicloud strategies, it’s critical that their security solutions reduce complexity and deliver comprehensive protection.

Microsoft’s aim is to protect customers across diverse cloud systems by extending the native capabilities of Microsoft Defender for Cloud to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). With GCP support, Microsoft is now the only cloud provider with native multicloud protection for the industry’s top three platforms: Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and now Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Microsoft Defender for Cloud provides Cloud Security Posture Management and Cloud Workload Protection. It identifies configuration weak spots across these top providers to help strengthen the overall security posture in the cloud and provides threat protection across workloads—all from a single place.

In a multicloud world, the number of platforms, devices, users, services, and locations multiplies exponentially, so securing those dynamically changing identities and permissions, wherever they are, is another core pillar of multicloud protection. To help address lack of visibility and control over their ever-evolving identities and permissions, Microsoft has announced the public preview of CloudKnox Permissions Management. CloudKnox provides complete visibility into user and workload identities across clouds, with automated features that consistently enforce least privilege access and use machine learning-powered continuous monitoring to detect and remediate suspicious activities.

As the volume of security data continues to grow exponentially, a one-size-fits-all model is no longer sufficient. This is why basic logs are introduced, a new type of logs that allows Microsoft Sentinel to sift through high volumes of data and find high-severity, low-visibility threats, and a new data archiving capability to extend data retention to seven years — beyond Microsoft’s current policy of two years—to enable the customers’ global data compliance needs. A new search experience is also added to empower security analysts to hunt for threats more effectively. They can now search massive volumes of security data quickly and easily from all logs, analytics, and archives.

In addition, updates across Microsoft portfolio for security are announced:

  • Secure workload identities with Azure AD extending beyond its core capabilities of protecting user identities to safeguard workload identities or apps and services, as customers move more workloads into the cloud, and develop more cloud-native applications.
  • Secure payment processing in the cloud with Azure Payment HSM, in public preview, for payment card issuers and network payment processors to securely process payments in the cloud with the highest levels of protection for cryptographic keys and customer PINs for secure payment transactions.

Cyber risks are inevitable and ever-evolving, so it is important to build comprehensive, integrated, and cloud-powered defenses using automation to prevent, detect, and mitigate risk. Organizations of all sizes need to be fearless in their digital transformation and continue to innovate.

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