By Samantha Orszulak, Head of Marketing at Maureen Data Systems (MDS)

At the recent Microsoft Ignite event, new innovations were announced to help customers across all their security, compliance, and identity needs. As cyber threats continue to grow and advance, every business needs to have an effective defensive plan in place. Some highlights organizations should pay attention are: 

1. Azure Sentinel: Microsoft has recently added more connectors to their Azure Sentinel platform. Azure Sentinel is Microsoft’s cloud-native SIEM (Security information and event management) tool utilizing AI to help organizations detect, investigate, and respond to threats quickly and swiftly. These new connectors will help security analysts collect data from a variety of sources, including Zscaler, Barracuda, and Citrix. On top of that, Microsoft is releasing new hunting queries and machine learning-based detections to assist the analyst in prioritizing the most important events.

2. Insider Risk Management in Microsoft 365: Microsoft announced they are implementing a new insider risk management solution in M365 to help identify and remediate threats stemming from within organizations. Now in private preview, this new solution leverages the Microsoft Graph along with third-party signals, like HR systems, to identify hidden patterns that traditional methods might miss. Contact MDS if you would like more information on getting a preview of this new tool and remember: motive doesn’t matter!

 3. Microsoft Authenticator: Deploying a Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) reduces the risk of phishing and other identity-based attacks significantly, so Microsoft has made Microsoft Authenticator available to customers as part of the Azure Directory (Azure AD) free plan.

4. New value in Azure AD: By the end of November 2019, the new Azure AD Connect cloud provisioning will be in preview. This is a lightweight agent to move identities from disconnected Azure Directory (AD) forests to the cloud. Microsoft is also announcing partnerships with F5 Network, Zscaler, Citrix, and Akamai to assist in secure hybrid access and to simplify access to legacy-auth based applications. Additionally, they will be introducing a re-imagined MyApps portal to help make apps more discoverable for all end-users. 

5. Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP): Microsoft is extending its endpoint detection and response capabilities within Microsoft Defender ATP now include MacOS (in preview). They also have plans to add support for Linux servers. 

6. Azure Security Center: Organizations can now expect new capabilities to find misconfigurations and treats for containers and SQL in IaaS while providing in-depth vulnerability assessments for virtual machines. Azure Security Center can also provide integration with security alerts from partners (like MDS) and quick fixes for quicker remediation. 

7. Microsoft information protection and governance: The compliance center in Microsoft365 now provides the ability to view data classifications categorized by sensitive information types or associated with industry regulations. Machine learning has also been adopted, allowing users to utilize existing data to train classifiers that are specifically unique to your organization, such as customer records, HR data, and contacts.

8. Microsoft Compliance Score: Now in public preview, Microsoft Compliance Score helps simplify regulatory complexity and reduce risk. This new platform will map your Microsoft 365 configuration settings to common regulations and standards, providing continuous monitoring and recommend actions to improve your compliance posture. Compliance is complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Let MDS help you become compliant and stay compliant!

9. Application Guard for Office: Application Guard for Office provides hardware-level and container-based protection against potentially malicious Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. It utilizes Microsoft Defender ATP to establish whether a document is either malicious or trusted. This is now in preview mode.

10. Azure Firewall Manager: Customers can now manage multiple firewall instances from a single pane of glass with the Azure Firewall Manager. Although this is already in public preview, Microsoft is still creating support for new firewall deployment technologies. 

There’s a lot to take in and more cybersecurity tools doesn’t necessarily mean you’re secure. However, implementing the right tools correctly is the best course of action. Maureen Data Systems (MDS) has extensive knowledge of creating secure business environments for any business type and size. Contact us to learn how our cybersecurity experts can customize your cybersecurity infrastructure giving you the best defense and helping you stay compliant.

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