Peter Griffin, Editor. 24 February 2022, 10:32 am
Most businesses are running Microsoft in their organisation but may use Google, AWS or Microsoft’s own cloud service Azure for hosting their applications and data.
That’s the multi-cloud reality Microsoft is faced with – customers may use their products, but are unlikely to go all-in on Azure as they look to take advantage of the cloud tools and services on rival platforms as well.
That poses a security risk when it comes to workloads on those platforms and how data interacts with the Microsoft ecosystem of apps, such as SharePoint and Microsoft 365. That’s why Microsoft developed its Defender for Cloud security platform and made it available for customers hosted on Azure, but more recently also on Amazon Web Services, which has the largest market share of the cloud giants.
The glaring omission remained Google Cloud and Microsoft has moved this week to rectify that by extending Defender for Cloud to Google’s platform. This includes “out of the box” recommendations to help customers protect themselves against cybersecurity threats.
According to the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report, 92% of respondents are using a multi-cloud model. A survey from Microsoft itself found that 73% of respondents considered it challenging to manage multi-cloud environments, with security a major area of concern.
“Cloud, mobile, and edge platforms have driven unprecedented business innovation, adaptation, and resilience during this time, but this broad mix of technologies also introduces incredible complexity for security and compliance teams,” wrote Vasu Jakkal, Microsoft’s corporate vice president, security, compliance, identity, and management, in a blog post.
“The security operations centre (SOC) must keep pace with safeguarding identities, devices, data, apps, infrastructure, and more. Further, they must take stock of evolving cyber risks in this multi-cloud, multi-platform world, and identify where blind spots may exist across a broad new set of users, devices, and destinations,” he added.
Microsoft also launched CloudKnox Permissions Management, aimed at organisations struggling with a “lack of visibility and control over their ever-evolving identities and permissions”. The service stems from Microsoft’s acquisition last year of CloudKnox Security and provides “complete visibility into user and workload identities across clouds, with automated features that consistently enforce least privilege access and use machine learning-powered continuous monitoring to detect and remediate suspicious activities,” according to Jakkal.