Microsoft’s security business is growing faster than any of their other mainstream products and services, and today they announced they will be adding three new services designed to help organisations spot and respond to cybersecurity incidents.
Here’s the TL;DR version.
- Microsoft are bolstering their security services offerings to go along with its technology products and partners.
- Security is the fastest-growing broad product category for Microsoft.
- Microsoft are increasing annual research and development spend in cybersecurity from $1 billion to $4 billion (more than any other security vendor anywhere).
The new services will see Microsoft’s own cyber security experts providing hands-on, proactive threat hunting for organisations unable to fully build out their own SOC due to the global security skills shortage and cost.
Keep reading to learn more…
This new announced investment comes as we see increasing reports from industry analysts on the continued increase in cyber security budgets globally as organisation continue to invest in protecting against the ever-increasing threat of ransomware attacks, identity theft and network hacks.
Attacks are getting smarter and more targeted
Cybercrime attacks are continuing to rise and get increasing sophisticated, costing the world’s businesses $6 trillion USD last year, with that number expected to rise to $10.6 trillion in 2025.
According to Microsoft, “most human-operated ransomware attacks share some common traits, as attackers take advantage of an organization’s reliance on legacy software configurations or poor “credential hygiene” to gain entry into systems, and once in to find privilege escalation points to move through systems and carry out attacks.“.
Whilst identity hygiene is improving many organisations still do not get the basics right with poor identity protection, lax controls, no (or patchy) MFA and a disjointed and fragmented approach to security rather than a Zero Trust ‘defence in depth mindset’
“Guarding single points of entry is not enough anymore, and a system or systems of managed extended detection and response (MXDR) is helping to help companies take a step back and look to guarding overall systems rather than focusing on locking down network ports or domains etc. “, Microsoft said in their latest security blog.
What is Microsoft Security Experts?
Microsoft Security Experts is a newly announced set of human, AI and software led services they will offer to organisations which will provide managed security services without them needing to build everything in house.
Whilst just the start, the three new security managed services include Defender Experts for Hunting, Defender Experts for XDR, and Security Services for Enterprise.
- Microsoft Defender Experts for Hunting.
- This involves Microsoft Security engineers hunting and altering organisations of issues they proactive hunt in clients’ devices, Office 365 productivity software installations, cloud apps and identity platforms programs.
- This will put Microsoft into a more direct competition with pure-play security software companies such as CrowdStrike.
- Cost is circa $3 pupm.
- Microsoft Defender Experts for XDR.
- This is a more people intense service that will see Microsoft Security Experts helping organisations act on threats. Microsoft say that this type of work is typically done by a variety of different organisations today, including the big four accounting firms.
- Cost is $14 pupm.
- Microsoft Security Services for Enterprise
- This service includes an even broader set of people-driven services.
- It aims to be more specific and customised to the needs of large enterprise organisations.
- It’s set to help elevate the global security skills and people challenge which affecting almost every organisation.
- Costs are bespoke to each organisation.
Microsoft and Security
Security is already a $15 billion annual business for Microsoft, and in 2021/22 it has increased faster than any other significant product or service that Microsoft sold – up 45% YoY.
Microsoft is of course no new kid on the block when it comes to cyber defence, and last year blocked over 9.6 billion malware threats and 35.7 billion malicious emails as well taking down several huge state nation attacks.
Microsoft believe that they are uniquely positioned to help their customers and partners do more to meet today’s security challenges. “We secure devices, identities, apps, and clouds—the fundamental fabric of our customers’ lives – with the full scale of our comprehensive multicloud, multiplatform solutions. At Microsoft, we understand today’s security challenges because we live this fight ourselves every single day“.
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella had already announced last year that their annual cyber security research and development spending is increasing to a staggering $4 billion, up from an already huge $1 billion.
What about the role of the Microsoft Partner?
Details are still emerging about how partners that sell security consultancy, enablement, training and of course managed extended detections and response (XDR) will be able to leverage these and build on their services.
Microsoft has said in their Yammer partner community site that they will be making a whole new set of investments in partners to help advance (or build) their managed extended detection and response (XDR) services business.
According to Gartner, demand is on a fast growth trajectory, and more than 50 percent of organizations will be using managed detection and response (MDR) services for threat monitoring, detection, and response functions that offer threat containment and mitigation capabilities by 2025.
Microsoft say that their Partners will play a critical role in addressing this incredible customer demand.