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Microsoft is launching a range of updates and introductions to its security portfolio. Among them: the completely new Microsoft Defender for Business and a strengthening of Microsoft Defender for Clouds position as a management platform for multi and hybrid cloud environments.

Dozens of updates spanning various corners of Microsoft’s security portfolio were presented at the Microsoft Ignite conference by Vassu Jakkal, Corporate Vice President, Security, Compliance and Identity at Microsoft. Below, we dive into two of the leading announcements. In this blog, Vasu Jakkal broadly covers all of the updates.

New: Microsoft Defender for Business

Microsoft is introducing the all-new Defender for Business as an answer to the security needs of companies with sizes up to 300 employees. According to Microsoft, said companies could well use the step-up from traditional antivirus to full-fledged endpoint detection, response and threat management.

The solution promises high-quality endpoint security in an easy-to-use form. Policies are said to be deployable out-of-the-box. While only the release can confirm whether the tool lives up to that description, it this currently clear that its pricing model is relatively distinctive. Microsoft 365 Business Premium customers receive the solution at no additional cost. Non-customers pay $3 per user per month. We deliberately note dollars as local prices are unknown at this time.

Microsoft Defender for Business becomes usable before the end of November via a public preview of unknown duration. From the moment the solution leaves the preview phase, the tool will be available standalone and as a part of Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

The solution is compatible with Microsoft 365 Lighthouse. Service providers who use Microsoft 365 Lighthouse to manage the security of multiple customers from a central point can incorporate Microsoft Defender for Business into their environments.

Updates: Microsoft Defender for Cloud

Equally significant is the expansion of Microsoft Defender for Cloud, the solution previously known as Azure Security Center and Azure Defender. We mention the name change for good reason: Microsoft Defender for Cloud serves hybrid and multicloud management of both AWS and Azure, not just the latter.

Now Microsoft is expanding the platform. The organization is making a set of ready-to-use cloud security functionalities deployable in AWS environments. In addition, Microsoft introduces new features for securing workloads in Amazon’s Kubernetes service, EKS.

Additionally, a Microsoft Defender for Cloud integration in Azure Purview sees the light of day. Azure Purview serves to oversee and retrieve all (meta)data in hybrid and multicloud environments. The integration, which is currently only available per preview, allows the usage of Microsoft Defender for Cloud as a data source for overviews provided by Purview.

Microsoft’s security ambitions

Microsoft emphasizes that each security update is part of a bigger picture. It has publicly pledged to invest $20 billion (17.27 billion euros) in global security research and development over the next five years. The motivation for doing so is commercial in nature, of which Microsoft makes no secret. The organization states it wants to be the best in breed at addressing current customer needs, adding that cybersecurity is an enormously important and urgent topic.

Tip: A selection of noteworthy news from Microsft Ignite 2021