Microsoft provides enterprise security progress report

Microsoft is adding a number of new security options and features to Azure, Office 365, Power BI and more, over the next couple of quarters.

Last November, Microsoft officials announced a plan to step up the company's commitment to enterprise security. Today, February 25 -- a week before the RSA Conference kicks off -- the company's Chief Information Security Officer, Bret Arsenault, provided a progress report on some of the products and initiatives related to that effort.


Here's what's new and coming soon.

Microsoft Cloud App Security, a new Microsoft cloud service that's based on technology Microsoft acquired when it bought Adallom, will be generally available in April 2016. Adallom's technology is all about protecting customer data inside third-party software-as-a-service apps like Box, SalesForce, ServiceNow, Ariba, in addition to Office 365.

On the Office 365 front, Microsoft Cloud App Security will provide advanced security alerts for notifying Office 365 admins of unusual or suspicious actions; cloud app discovery for analyzing to which cloud services their users are connecting; and app permissions, which provides the ability to approve/revoke third-party services connected to Office 365.

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Customer Lockbox for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business will begin rolling out in early Q2. In December, Microsoft announced general availability of Customer Lockbox for Exchange Online, which steps up the number of levels of approval within Microsoft required to troubleshoot a customer issue involving a mailbox or document contents. Now that capability is coming to SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

Microsoft is adding the ability to use Power BI dashboard to reveal trends and attack patterns, as well as visualize and filter recommendations and security alerts from anywhere, including a mobile device. There are also new threat visualizations available in Microsoft's Operations Management Suite.

More security management and reporting options are coming to Azure Security Center, plus a revamped Security and Audit dashboard in Microsoft Operations Management Suite.

There will be a public preview next week of Azure Active Directory Identity Protection, which detects suspicious activities for end users and privileged identities based on data collected by Microsoft that is part of its "Intelligent Security Graph." This service, a feature of Azure Active Directory Premium, calculates user risk severity and configures risk-based policies to protect identities from future threats.

Azure Security Center Advanced Threat Detection is now integrated into Azure Security Center, offering users advanced threat detection when hosting virtual machines in Azure.