Microsoft to make enterprise security tools available

Advanced Threat Analytics and Rights Management Service to be offered next month

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Microsoft will be making two services generally available as part of the company's push to improve the security of businesses' data.

Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate vice president of enterprise client and mobility, said in a blog post today that the company's Advanced Threat Analytics security service would be generally available next month. In addition, the Office apps for iPhone and iPad will be updated Thursday to support viewing documents that have been protected with Azure Rights Management.

Advanced Threat Analytics, which is the result of Microsoft's acquisition of Aorato, uses machine learning tools to detect unusual behavior on a company's network and uses that information to alert administrators who can act to contain the breach. The service is capable of working wherever users log in to corporate resources, including across mobile devices and hardware that users bring in to a corporate environment.

Microsoft already provides users of Azure Active Directory with attack identification capabilities, but Advanced Threat Analytics is built to secure on-premises infrastructure.

The service has picked up plenty of interest in its private preview state. Anderson said that thousands of businesses have been trying Advanced Threat Analytics every week since it was previewed at the Ignite conference in May. That's no surprise at a time when high-profile security breaches have hit organizations from the U.S. government's Office of Personnel Management to Ashley Madison, a dating site for people seeking extramarital affairs.

Extending Azure Rights Management support to Office for iPad and iPhone means that administrators will be able to lock down individual files and apply policies about how they can be used. With the update announced Wednesday, iPhone and iPad users will be able to view documents that have been protected to prevent unauthorized access and limit what users can do with them. Right now, it only works with Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and the apps only support viewing files. Future updates will bring the rights management capabilities to the Outlook app, and allow users to create and edit managed content.

The two new features are a part of Microsoft's push to adapt to a changing IT climate that is more focused on users bringing their own devices into a corporate environment. The company has been pushing its Enterprise Mobility Suite to help companies manage a wide variety of smartphones, tablets and computers, including those that don't run Microsoft's operating systems. Anderson said more than 17,000 customers have purchased enterprise mobility services from the company during the past fiscal year.

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