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Microsoft is recognized as a Leader in the 2021 Forrester Wave for Unified Endpoint Management

November 9th, 2021 No comments

Microsoft is honored to be recognized as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), Q4 2021 report for our ability to help customers on their path to modern endpoint management. Microsoft Endpoint Manager—which brings together Microsoft Intune for cloud endpoint management and Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager for endpoints on-premises—empowers organizations to protect their apps and devices across platforms for a resilient, productive workforce.

The Forrester report states that Microsoft “excels at helping customers migrate to modern endpoint management” and that its Desktop Analytics offers capabilities that are among the most advanced in the evaluation for enabling advanced automation alongside the cloud-connected Microsoft Graph API.

The Forrester Wave Unified Endpoint Management (UEM), Q4 2021 graphic positioning Microsoft near the top right hand corner under the Leaders position.

Endpoint Manager helps maximize the investments organizations have made in their digital estate through capabilities designed to optimize employee experiences on devices that have become their new workplace for today’s hybrid world. We have worked hard to simplify the path to endpoint cloud management and build capabilities that improve IT productivity as well as mitigate the risk of increasing cybersecurity threats on the expanding endpoint landscape. The Forrester report recognizes that Endpoint Manager continues to grow rapidly with our ability to scale and its inclusion in  Microsoft 365.

Insights help boost digital employee experiences

In the new hybrid world, employees around the globe are increasingly dependent on their devices and apps to keep them connected. We have seen growth in Windows devices under management—up more than 130 percent in the last year. As customers continue to work from home and adapt to the new reality of hybrid work, it’s clear that the endpoint is the new workplace and must be protected and managed. Insights into issues like app health and device boot time that can be addressed remotely by helpdesk or IT teams can improve productivity and reduce frustration. Endpoint analytics in Endpoint Manager brings new capabilities that help with digital employee experiences and has been broadly adopted by our customers for exactly that reason.

Hybrid work accelerates cloud migration

Organizations have been forced to rethink how to enable their workforce to be productive from anywhere, on any device, and that means that the calculus for cloud enablement has also changed. Our approach to cloud enablement keeps customers at the center and meets them where they’re at.  We take deliberate measures with Endpoint Manager to approach our customers’ need to maximize their existing investment of their endpoints on-premises. From refreshing our cloud configuration wizard to driving group policies into our settings catalog, we can extend the value of the cloud to co-managed endpoints, and at the same time continue to invest in helping customers move to cloud management at their own pace.

A cross-platform approach offers flexibility

We see customers continue to use both fully managed and unmanaged devices within their enterprises. Whether they adopt work profiles, mobile application management (MAM), device enrollment, or user enrollment, each of these have their place and Endpoint Manager supports customers for all the models. With Endpoint Manager, administrators can decide if they need the validation provided through Conditional Access protected resources at the device or app level. More than 80 percent of Endpoint Manager devices use Conditional Access with Microsoft Azure Active Directory.

At Microsoft Ignite 2021, we announced that we will soon introduce Linux to the platforms supported in Endpoint Manager. Simply building a management agent for Linux clients isn’t enough. Rather, devices need to be registered, managed, secured, and then they can be used to access Conditional Access protected resources. We are doing this across Microsoft 365 and are seeing a very broad usage of Conditional Access, which is at the very core of our Zero Trust solution. Our product strategy includes adding more capability over time, providing flexibility to check more stats on the device or app, increasing security, and improving productivity—and there’s still so much more to do.

We invite you to read the full Forrester report here.

To learn more about Microsoft Security solutions, visit our website. Bookmark the Security blog to keep up with our expert coverage on security matters. Also, follow us at @MSFTSecurity for the latest news and updates on cybersecurity.

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MISA expands with new members and new product additions

February 24th, 2020 No comments

Another RSA Conference (RSAC) and another big year for the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA). MISA was launched at RSAC 2018 with 26 members and a year later we had doubled in size to 53 members. Today, I am excited to share that the association has again doubled in size to 102 members.

New members expand the portfolio of MISA integrations

Our new members include a number of ecosystem partners, like RSA, ServiceNow, and Net Motion, which have developed critical integrations that benefit our shared customers and we look forward to deepening our relationship through MISA engagement.

New MISA member RSA is now using Azure Active Directory’s risky user data and other Microsoft security signals to enrich their risk score engine. Additionally, RSA also leverages the Graph Security API to feed their SIEM solution, RSA NetWitness with alerts from the entire suite of Microsoft Security solutions.

 “RSA is excited to showcase the RSA SecurID and RSA NetWitness integrations with Microsoft Security products. Our integrations with Microsoft Defender ATP, Microsoft Graph Security API, Azure AD, and Microsoft Azure Sentinel, help us to better secure access to our mutual customer’s applications, and detect threats and attacks. We’re excited to formalize the long-standing relationship through RSA Ready and MISA to better defend our customers against a world of increasing threats.”
—Anna Sarnek, Head of Strategic Business Development, Cloud and Identity for RSA

The ServiceNow Security Operations integration with Microsoft Graph Security API enables shared customers to automate incident management and response, leveraging the capabilities of the Now Platform’s single data model to dramatically improve their ability to prioritize and respond to threats generated by all Microsoft Security Solutions and custom alerts from Azure Sentinel.

“ServiceNow is pleased to join the Microsoft Intelligent Security Alliance to accelerate security incident response for our shared customers. The ServiceNow Security Operations integration with Azure Sentinel, via the graph security API, enables shared customers to automate incident management and response, leveraging the capabilities of the Now Platform’s single data model to dramatically improve their ability to prioritize and respond to threats.”
—Lou Fiorello, Head of Security Products for ServiceNow

Microsoft is pleased to welcome NetMotion, a connectivity and security solutions company for the world’s growing mobile workforce, into the security partner program. Using NetMotion’s class-leading VPN, customers not only gain uncompromised connectivity and feature parity, they benefit from a VPN that is compatible with Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS devices. For IT teams, NetMotion delivers visibility and control over the entire connection from endpoint to endpoint, over any network, through integration with Microsoft Endpoint Manager (Microsoft Intune).

“NetMotion is designed from the ground up to protect and enhance the user experience of any mobile device. By delivering plug-and-play integration with Microsoft Endpoint Manager, the mobile workforce can maximize productivity and impact without any disruption to their workflow from day one. For organizations already using or considering Microsoft, the addition of NetMotion’s VPN is an absolute no-brainer.”
—Christopher Kenessey, CEO of NetMotion Software

Expanded partner strategy for Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

The Microsoft Defender ATP team worked with our ecosystem partners to take their rich and complete set of APIs a step further to extend the power of our combined platforms. This helps customers strengthen their network and endpoint security posture, add continuous security validation and attack simulation testing, orchestrate and automate incident correlation and remediation, and add threat intelligence and web content filtering capabilities. Read Extending Microsoft Defender ATP network of partners to learn more about their partner strategy expansion and their open framework philosophy.

New product teams join the association

In addition to growing our membership, MISA expanded to cover 12 of Microsoft’s security solutions, including our latest additions: Azure Security Center for IoT Security and Azure DDoS.

Azure Security Center for IoT Security announces five flagship integration partners

The simple onboarding flow for Azure Security Center for IoT enables you to protect your managed and unmanaged IoT devices, view all security alerts, reduce your attack surface with security posture recommendations, and run unified reports in a single pane of glass.

Through partnering with members like Attivo Networks, CyberMDX, CyberX, Firedome, and SecuriThings, Microsoft is able to leverage their vast knowledge pool to help customers defend against a world of increasing IoT threats in enterprise. These solutions protect managed and unmanaged IoT devices in manufacturing, energy, building management systems, healthcare, transportation, smart cities, smart homes, and more. Read more about IoT security and how these five integration partners are changing IoT security in this blog.

Azure DDoS Protection available to partners to combat DDoS attacks

The first DDoS attack occurred way back on July 22, 1999, when a network of 114 computers infected with a malicious script called Trin00 attacked a computer at the University of Minnesota, according to MIT Technology Review. Even after 20 years DDoS continues to be an ever-growing problem, with the number of DDoS attacks doubling in the last year alone and the types of attacks getting increasingly sophisticated with the explosion of IoT devices.

Azure DDoS Protection provides countermeasures against the most sophisticated DDoS threats. The service provides enhanced DDoS mitigation capabilities for your application and resources deployed in your virtual networks. Technology partners can now protect their customers’ resources natively with Azure DDoS Protection Standard to address the availability and reliability concerns due to DDoS attacks.

“Extending Azure DDoS Protection capabilities to Microsoft Intelligent Security Association will help our shared customers to succeed by leveraging the global scale of Azure Networking to protect their workloads against DDoS attacks”
—Anupam Vij, Principal Product Manager, Azure Networking

Learn more

To see MISA members in action, visit the Microsoft booth at RSA where we have a number of our security partners presenting and demoing throughout the week. To learn more about the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association, visit our webpage or the video playlist of member integrations. For more information on Microsoft security solutions, visit our website.

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Unifying security policy across all mobile form-factors with Wandera and Microsoft

February 19th, 2020 No comments

The way we work is evolving—technology enables more effective employees by helping them to be productive where and when they choose. Businesses have also been enjoying the productivity benefits of an always-on and always-connected workforce.

While new business applications and device form-factors helped to accelerate these changes, organizations are now discovering the challenges with managing security and compliance policies in the modern workplace. As devices physically leave the corporate campus, administrators need tools to effectively manage end user applications and the corresponding access to company data; this is a particularly complex challenge for businesses who manage mobile devices running a variety of operating systems with significantly different management capabilities.

Mobile devices also introduce new IT challenges that can seriously impact business operations, such as:

  • Legacy security infrastructure such as Secure Web Gateways aren’t built for mobile devices, and backhauling traffic isn’t feasible for enforcing acceptable use policies, meaning that inappropriate content could be accessed, or shadow IT tools used, potentially creating legal liability for the business.
  • Insecure apps and content risks such as mobile phishing represent new attack vectors; modern app distribution methods and mobile-specific attack vectors (e.g., SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger) represent significantly expanded surface area that IT teams must now protect.
  • Excessive mobile data usage can lead to bill shock and result in unexpected financial risk for businesses of all sizes.

The modern business needs to manage risk in the simplest and most effective way, while simultaneously enabling worker productivity. Embracing tools that meet the needs of mobile work will improve employee and organizational productivity, and ultimately make the business more agile.

Mobility comes in many form factors and OSs, leading to admin complexity

The explosion in the number of iOS and Android smartphones and tablets sold over the last decade is a testament to their revolutionary impact in providing always-on communication, productivity, and organizational tools. Mobility has been great for businesses; according to Frost and Sullivan, portable devices increase productivity on work tasks by 34 percent and save employees 58 minutes per day.

While smartphones have been at the forefront of transforming personal productivity and improving business operations, they are not the only form-factor available for work that is performed on-the-go. Many worker tasks, such as manipulating large data sets or refining high resolution images, require specialized hardware such as a large display or a trackball to optimize the user experience and efficiency. A different type of mobile tool is needed for certain remote workers with job-specific tasks.

Windows devices have long been a key tool for enabling office employees, and in recent years, laptops have become lightweight and highly portable, making them as versatile as mobile devices. Many laptops now also include a physical SIM or eSIM to enable always-on connectivity, and the 2-in-1 form factor is proving to be a popular choice for office workers because of the resulting flexibility in working style.

Challenges managing a diverse mobile workforce go beyond the device

Supporting Windows devices outside of the office creates new challenges for IT teams—principally, how does the admin effectively manage users working remotely? Separate tools exist to manage apps and user access on different operating systems, creating management overhead. Additionally, Windows devices are typically attached to Wi-Fi and other unmetered networks where users are not constrained in how much data they can consume without penalty. As these devices are enabled for mobile data networks, these powerful systems need to be more intelligent in the way they consume data.

The difference in managing apps and data on mobile vs on Windows led to increased complexity for the admin. For example, Microsoft Word may be deployed via an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solution such as Microsoft Intune on mobile, while on Windows, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) may be used. The different management infrastructures required for these tools have increased overhead and created challenges for IT teams maintaining more than one service to manage employees that simultaneously use mobile and Windows devices for working.

Any changes to users, such as employees joining or leaving the company, must be replicated across both tools. Additionally, the different tools have disparate controls, meaning that it is impossible to apply consistent security, acceptable use, and Conditional Access policies. Applying policies inconsistently can result in users receiving inappropriate privileges or disparate access to services across different form factors and operating systems. As a result, employees may be drawn to using a corporate-approved app on their Windows device but an unapproved consumer variant on their mobile device, leading to increased risk.

Strategies for effectively enabling a mobile workforce

It is just as important to protect users working remotely as it is to protect users within the network perimeter. Extending security policy in a consistent manner to mobile devices can be achieved with three services: a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) service such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager, inclusive of both Microsoft Intune and Configuration Manager, an Identity and Access Management (IAM) service such as Azure Active Directory (AD), and a network-based risk management service such as the Wandera Mobile Security Suite that protects against cyber threats and usage risks.

Organizations looking to adopt this suite of services for unified policy should seek solutions that are deeply integrated in order to achieve a fully secure and manageable mobility stack. Wandera and Microsoft have partnered together to offer an integrated secure technology stack:

  • UEM services bridge the management gap between Windows and mobile devices. Microsoft Endpoint Manager enables administrators to push applications and configuration profiles to enable homogeneous management across both mobile and Windows devices.
  • Pairing Microsoft Endpoint Manager with Azure AD means that the profiles can be managed at a user level, instead of at the device level, further improving management consistency.
  • Wandera Mobile Security Suite allows administrators to define security and acceptable use policies at the network level, agnostic to the device that is being used. This means that applications and websites can be whitelisted or blacklisted, preventing users from using dangerous or unapproved services regardless of device type.

For example, a business may choose to use OneDrive for storing files in the cloud and want to prevent other file sharing services from being used. Microsoft Endpoint Manager and Azure AD can be used to push and configure the OneDrive application to the Windows and mobile devices, enabling employees to use this service. Wandera Mobile Security Suite can then be used in tandem to prevent employees from using other services such as Dropbox, preventing the user from accessing shadow IT in the form of application and web browser versions.

Many organizations have found that the lack of consistent controls create new attack surfaces that hackers use to penetrate the organization and mischievous employees abuse to circumvent IT policies. It is not uncommon for users to be blocked by acceptable use policies as they browse to unsanctioned content from a desktop computer, only to enable tethering on a mobile device to circumvent the policy.

Managing different technologies and applying different policies creates undue complexity for admin teams and prevents business flexibility, potentially leading to overlooked security gaps. Wandera Mobile Security Suite’s in-network security technology allows content security policies to be applied consistently across different device types. This means that phishing attacks, which are how 90 percent of data breaches begin, can be prevented regardless of device type. Mobile Security Suite is also able to block spam sites and stop malware communicating with command-and-control (C2) servers.

Mobile data management is another area of disparate control for businesses. The rich set of features in Wandera Mobile Security Suite for managing data usage on mobile devices can help an organization prevent bill shock caused by data overages or roaming on any iOS, Android, or Windows 10 device, with detailed and holistic reporting so businesses can understand how they use data and where risk may enter through mobile usage.

Better together—Microsoft and Wandera

Businesses can benefit from the strong integration between Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Azure AD, and Wandera Mobile Security Suite, making device management processes seamless. The combined solution streamlines device lifecycle management, involves a single source-of-truth for users and roles that is applied consistently between products, and makes security policies more intelligent and effective by ensuring that all components in the solution are sharing intelligence to remediate threat as soon as it’s detected.

Using Azure AD to centrally manage user identities simplifies administration, as credentials do not need to be created across multiple systems. When an employee is added in Azure AD, a profile will automatically be created in Microsoft Endpoint Manager, enabling their devices to be managed. In turn, Wandera Mobile Security Suite can be integrated with Microsoft Endpoint Manager so that the same acceptable use, content security, and data management policies can be applied seamlessly. This workflow functions when an employee leaves the business, unenrolling them from all services, making integration of services an easy way to manage a device’s lifecycle and ensuring that sensitive data remains secure

The integrated solution also enables differentiated access for users through applying policies by role. The three services can be linked directly so that an organization’s directory hierarchy can be shared, and acceptable use policies applied to the user level simply and easily.

Enabling employees is very important for productivity, but equally as important is preventing unwanted parties accessing confidential information and critical systems. Infecting an endpoint is an easy way for malicious parties to infiltrate a businesses’ technology systems.

The integrated solution also incorporates risk signals from a variety of sources to ensure that the user, device, and data are safe. Microsoft Endpoint Manager provides a risk assessment of the device configuration, including whether the lockscreen is configured properly. Azure AD is able to determine when sign-in behavior is anomalous or risky, through signals integration with Azure AD Identity Protection. Wandera Mobile Security Suite provides an added set of security assessments on the device that includes vulnerability scans, app vetting, and Man-in-the-Middle checks. All of these risk signals are brought together through a single Conditional Access policy.

Best practices for mobility management with iOS, Android, and Windows 10 devices

As mobile employees are enabled with mobile iOS, Android, and Windows 10 devices, businesses need to embrace technology that will give admins the necessary controls to effectively manage employee devices consistently. Businesses need to be able to manage productivity tools, by providing access to acceptable applications and blocking unwanted applications. Organizations need to provide strong security across devices to close gaps in their defenses and prevent common threats from impacting business operations. Finally, businesses should ensure that Windows devices do not cause unexpected data charges by employing cost control tools.

To be able to effectively enforce acceptable use, content security, and control costs across a device fleet with many different device types, businesses should utilize integrated solutions that can support consistent management. Microsoft Endpoint Manager, Azure AD, and Wandera Mobile Security Suite provide features that organizations need to embrace a mobile fleet. Bringing these three services together creates a powerful joint solution that can improve businesses’ lifecycle management, policy application, and identity and security management.

Bookmark the Security blog to keep up with our expert coverage on security matters. Check out our security solutions that help to address these issues. Also, follow us at @MSFTSecurity for the latest news and updates on cybersecurity.

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