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Executive View
A comprehensive approach to data protection – one that combines all aspects of computing infrastructure– rather than the point products that comprise many organization’s cybersecurity environment, is a decided plus, provided the overall goal is achieved.

1 Introduction

There’s a fundamental shift occurring within organizations when it comes to cybersecurity. No longer are companies waiting for audit failures before addressing security issues, they are taking a proactive approach and strategically planning their cybersecurity environment. This is particularly appropriate as a growing number of innovative solutions are coming on the market, and a fundamental shift is occuring to real-time analytics and dynamic account control.

So, the question is: “how do we provide a comprehensive solution to cybersecurity and future-proof our organization for foreseeable vulnerabilities?”

Microsoft has announced a new licensing suite for their cybersecurity products to make it easier for organizations to select the most appropriate solution to their security requirements.

Microsoft has been following a ‘cross-platform’ approach to operating system development, and associated cybersecurity tools for some time now. Deploying Windows 10 across all end-client devices from PCs to tablets to smartphones is eminently possible and provides an unprecedented level of commonality of access to files and documents across these devices. This ubiquity of support also extends to the server-side; rights management applied to document stores and file shares extends to end-point servers providing consistent protection in accordance with a centralized policy-based management approach.

Microsoft’s ‘Enterprise Mobility + Security’ suite (EMS) brings together several solutions in the information protection and threat analytics space. Information protection provides a classification capability that labels files so that they can be protected by RMS when users attempt to view, edit, print or save them. Advanced threat analytics leverages the Azure AD functionality to protect corporate assets from anomalous activity. The Cloud is a major driver for Microsoft’s cybersecurity offerings; the same level of protection for documents and applications can now be provided in the Cloud as it is on the corporate network. This is important because customers no longer want the be constrained to on-premise offerings. Staff now consider Cloud storage and mobile devices as part of the IT fabric that they must support. Equally, it is increasingly necessary for documents to be securely shared with business partners and service providers so the ability to securely share documents with external entities is becoming increasingly important.

Microsoft has re-organized the EMS offerings around three elements: behavioral analytics, threat intelligence and document protection, providing a more integrated solution-set that combines several components of the cybersecurity task.

Behavioral analytics learns about normal patterns of usage on a network and alarms on out-of-pattern activity; threat intelligence uses enterprise-level research to ward-off phishing and ransomware attacks that usually precede hacker attacks, while information protection classifies and labels files to enable secure document sharing.

With the Enterprise Mobility + Security offering Microsoft has realigned their security products under a two-level pricing structure that customers can select based on the functionality they require. EMS E3 is the original Enterprise Mobility Suite, identity-driven security solution. EMS E5 is the E3 suite with additional features including a full document classification and protection capability, risk-based identity protection and improved Cloud-app management functionality.

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