Microsoft Ignite: Security gets top billing, with Advanced Threat Protection updates and more

Microsoft Ignite: Security gets top billing, with Advanced Threat Protection updates and more

Comprehensive security solutions were a key focus of Microsoft in Atlanta

You never know what tomorrow's threats will be, so Microsoft has put security as a key focus of Ignite 2016.

The company has broadened the scope of Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection to cover its whole suite of productivity software, while adding deeper capabilities to better mark sensitive data and to analyze and respond to incoming threats.

We're building security deeply into every product family we have, said Microsoft's Judson Althoff, executive vice president of the Worldwide Commercial Business. You'll also see that when combined together they have a differentiated strategy that allows customers to ward off cyberthreats.

That includes cyberthreats that haven't even emerged yet, with a heavy focus on using machine learning and a more defense posture to identify and react to prevent breaches or minimize the impact of breaches that do happen.

One example: Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection now has a broadened mandate. Unveiled last year, Advanced Threat Protection originally focused on mitigating attacks coming through Outlook for Office 365 subscribers (it's an additional add-on feature).

Now those features, which include URL interception and inspection and rich administrator analytics on user behavior, are coming to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business.

Microsoft also moved to make its Threat Protection services work better together, with Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) and Office 365 ATP now sharing intelligence across services to provide administrators a simpler, more comprehensive view of attacks on their organization.

Along that vein, Microsoft is also introducing Office 365 Threat Intelligence, which digs into attack origins and allows the application of dynamic policies based on attack trends (See a surge in spear phishing? Maybe increase how stringently external URLs are monitored, for example).

Microsoft is also working to lock down the browser even more. Windows Defender Application Guard, coming in the first quarter of next year, used isolated containers which Microsoft says will be built directly into the hardware to keep malicious code from jumping from employee devices into the corporate network.

Rich Hay has more details about Windows Defender Application Guard on SuperSite, and be sure to follow all of our breaking Ignite 2016 coverage.

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