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Cloud, Nov 11, 2021

Microsoft Ignite Into Focus: Security

Sushma Mavinakayinahally

In November 2021, our cloud technology team attended this year’s Microsoft Ignite conference. In this blog, we summarise the key takeaways from the event.

This year’s Microsoft Ignite conference featured Into Focus – an engaging keynote offering executive content. The keynote included a session named “Into Focus: Security”, which showcased a number of in-depth roundtable conversations and exclusive interviews with Natalia Godyla (Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft), Nic Fillingham (Security Unlocked Host), Chris Krebs (Former Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security A – CISA), and Vasu Jakkal (CVP, Security, Compliance, & Identity).

One of the security announcements highlighted during the discussion was Microsoft Defender for Business – a new threat protection solution built specifically for small and medium-sized businesses. This solution brings preventive protection, post-breach detection, and automated investigative response that is tailored for small and medium-sized businesses. At the same time, it provides organisations with enterprise-level security solutions.

Some key highlights from the event included:

  • An exclusive interview with Christopher Krebs, Former Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security. The interview addressed the emerging national security events and how organisations can become more resilient.

  • Microsoft’s Chief Information Security Officer, Bret Arsenault, spoke about the impact and lessons learned from recent global cyberattacks and how a Zero Trust approach is key to securing hybrid work's future.

  • Insights on how to prepare and spot cyberattacks.
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Although Microsoft Ignite placed an emphasis on security throughout all aspects of the business, the “Into Focus: Security” session addressed much more than just business or customer security. It brought light to some recent stats, including the fact that there has been a 66.7% increase in phishing attacks during the pandemic, with more than 50 million password attacks every day. With hybrid work on the rise, the surface area for attack is bigger and a more comprehensive approach to security is required as a result.

Some key elements that can help organisations gain confidence and build better security include:

  • Principles: Embracing a combination of Zero Trust Architectural principles;

  • People: Investing in community around us in a culture of empathy and inclusion;

  • Platform: Continuously leveraging cloud-based technology to keep up with ever-changing threats and invest in a platform that provides comprehensive end-to-end security.

Vasu Jakkal, Corporate VP & CMO of Security, Compliance, and Identity at Microsoft conducted an exclusive interview with Christopher Krebs where they discussed the change that needed to happen among organisations, corporations, and individuals. An interesting discussion was had about “disinformation” – something that we don’t generally come across in day-to-day life. Disinformation is any information with an intent to cause harm or manipulate thinking or create doubt.

The interview brought to light the fact that security is a team effort and there are things that we can all do better to improve upon it. This includes:

  • Information sharing: This is very important as it helps defenders build better security measures;

  • Leadership: To help people and spread awareness and understanding on emerging threats;

  • Radical transparency in incident responses: To share information and help the rest of the community.

The “Into Focus : Security” session at Microsoft Ignite predominantly highlighted digital empathy and the importance of having a more people-centric approach to security in building a defence for the future. This is already being achieved with positive messaging and trends around increased awareness on security, resilience, and digital empathy.

For Credera and our clients, this means….

There is a greater need than ever to develop and maintain an end-to-end enterprise security strategy. This reaches down from the business ideas and requirements down to the technical architectures - particularly where public cloud platforms are involved.

Credera assists organisations by helping develop strategies security strategies and architectures, as well as spreading awareness and best practice amongst our clients and the wider community. We help our clients focus on the importance of security and take a robust, multi-layered approach to the implementation of cybersecurity.

We look forward to leveraging more of Microsoft Azure’s end-to-end security components to ensure that businesses are more secure, resilient, and can defend against any security threats in future.

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