Microsoft is updating its security products with a slew of features that are supposed to make customers safer without sacrificing productivity. It’s part of the company’s overall push to provide enterprises with the tools they need to securely conduct business in an increasingly dangerous environment full of cybersecurity threats.
The biggest news is a forthcoming Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, which will serve as a clearinghouse of signals from hardware and software that can be used to evaluate threats. Microsoft and third-party products will pull information for users from that graph, as well as push information to it, so cybersecurity systems can get a broader picture of what’s going on with a company’s technology footprint. The tech giant is privately testing a new API that will connect those products with companies like Anomali, Palo Alto Networks, and PwC.
Effective use of machine learning requires a ton of data, and this new Intelligent Security Graph could serve as a firehose for products and customers that need it to provide effective protection.
Microsoft also announced the general availability of several key products for customers, including a Secure Score that will provide IT teams with a dashboard that shows how their company’s stance compares to industry best practices. They’ll see a single metric that tells them how well they’re doing, and show how changes to organizations’ technology configurations could make them more secure.
In addition, the company announced the general availability of Conditional Access services inside Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection that allow companies to require different levels of authentication based on what device they’re using, where they’re logging in from, and other factors.
On top of all that, Microsoft will be supporting the Fast Identification Online (FIDO) 2.0 standard for logging into Windows 10 computers using Windows Hello for Business with the next major update to its operating system. That feature will allow corporate users to sign into their Azure Active Directory account with a security key.
All told, this news is part of a broader shift in the cloud space, as large providers like Microsoft rush to provide their enterprise customers with the tools they need to protect themselves.