We all know by now how cloud and mobile technology is “enabling companies to reshape their business” – we hear it all the time from industry analysts and IT firms trying to sell their SaaS and IaaS offerings. As such I am not going to go on about this, but instead wanted to focus on another aspect: Securing this modern and digital workplace. I’m also going to talk about Microsoft here in a security context – two words that even 5 years ago simply wouldn’t not have gone together. This has changed.
Like most vendors, Security is “THE” big thing and “THE” focus for Microsoft as it is for every organisation on the planet. Microsoft have finally up’ed their game and now provide a true end to end solution that costs as cheap as chips!
Lets talk Microsoft Enterprise Mobility & Security Suite
At less than £5 per user per month (depending on how you buy your licensing of course), EMS provides an identity-driven security solution (that’s Azure Active Directory Premium) that provides a truly holistic approach to overcoming the identity and user logon issues associated with companies who need to use multiple cloud/SaaS applications. To get the best out of EMS, you do really need to be Office 365, but adding EMS enables businesses to:
- Protect your organisation against unknown malware and viruses across all your business applications, data, users and all your devices
- Detect – threats and security compromises and anomalies through enhanced visibility and control into you Office 365 services
- Respond to detected threats by maintaining control over your businesses assets, data and applications
- Maintain compliance across the business by digitally protecting and encrypting all data whether at rest or in transit along with end to end visibility, insights, auditing and logging
So that’s the Microsoft Sales Blub, but how does it really work in the real world?
How EMS Can Protect Your Business
Protect at the “front door”
It starts with Microsoft Azure’s identity protection capabilities to secure access at the “front door” of your business apps and data. Azure Active Directory Identity Protection (this was called RMS) leverages literally billions of signals to provide risk-based conditional access to your applications and critical company data, including the option of multi-factor authentication. For example, it can tell if a user suddenly starts downloading loads of data from OneDrive, or if they log in from two different locations in a short period of time for example. EMS makes it possible to manage and protect “privileged accounts” with Azure Active Directory Privileged Identity Management meaning you can discover, restrict and monitor privileged identities and their access to resources to make sure no one is doing stuff they shouldn’t be basically!
Protect data from user mistakes
Since EMS provides deep visibility into user and data activity, you can protect your business when users make poor, sloppy or stupid (not allowed) choices as they work with your company data – this might be as simply as trying to save company data to a USB pen or uploading to a consumer cloud service such as DropBox. On top of this, Microsoft’s Cloud App Security provides visibility and controls for a large majority of cloud applications, including things like Box, DropBox, Salesforce, ServiceNow, and of course Office 365. Azure Information Protection adds automatic data classification and labelling with persistent data protection to enable secure file sharing both internally and externally to your business.
Microsoft Intune extends this to mobile devices and as well as providing the traditional MDM capabilities such as device control, remote wipe etc, also helps prevent data loss on mobile devices, with the unique ability to manage the Office mobile apps without requiring device enrolment or third party applications.
Detect malware and malicious attacks before they cause damage
As businesses begin to accept an “assume breach posture”, EMS helps identify attackers that may have got inside your business, using behavioural analytics and anomaly detection technologies within your environment with Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Analytics (available for Exchange Online and soon, Windows 10) and also in the cloud with Azure Active Directory and Cloud App Security.
According to Microsoft, In just two years, EMS has grown to “lead the market” with over 27,000 enterprise customers and more than 1/3 of the Fortune 500 now using it.
Rob Quickenden, Chief Strategy Officer at Cisilion