Microsoft Expands Security Service Offerings for Organizations
Microsoft on Monday announced an expansion of its security services for organizations.
The company introduced a new service offering, called "Microsoft Security Experts," which involves support from Microsoft's partners. It also announced three new Microsoft managed services designed to address specific security issues, which are available or will be coming this year.
New Microsoft Security Experts Offering
The new Microsoft Security Experts offering brings together Microsoft's security services with Microsoft's partners, who act as managed service providers for organizations. Under the program, an organization's security team gets augmented security support or their security can be managed "entirely," per a Microsoft FAQ.
Here's how the FAQ, given to the press, defined the Microsoft Security Experts service:
Security Experts is a new service category that augments a customer's existing security team or -- alongside our partners -- manages security for them entirely to meet their unique needs and circumstances. This new line of managed security services combines expert-trained technology with human-led services to help organizations achieve more secure, compliant, and productive outcomes. With Security Experts, customers and partners gain access to the company's leading technologies, threat intelligence and an unparalleled amount of security signal to detect threats more accurately, speed up response times, and keep your team informed.
Availability and the cost of the new Microsoft Security Experts service offering weren't described.
New Microsoft Managed Security Services
On top of the Microsoft Security Experts addition, Microsoft announced three new managed security services focused on specific organizational needs. The new services were described as either being available now or they'll be coming later this year. The costs weren't described, though.
Available now is the new "Microsoft Security Services for Enterprise" offering. It combines extended detection and response (XDR) capabilities with security information and event management (SIEM) capabilities. It offers protections for "all cloud environments and all platforms." This service features interactions with Microsoft security experts. Organizations can buy it through their account executive, Microsoft indicated.
Next, a new "Microsoft Defender Experts for Hunting" service was announced. It helps with proactive threat hunting across data protected by the Microsoft Defender antimalware service. The Microsoft Defender Experts for Hunting service can be used with "endpoints, Office 365, cloud applications, and identity" that are protected by the Microsoft Defender service. Microsoft's experts will "investigate anything they find" under the service. Microsoft expects to commercially release this service at the general availability stage "in summer 2022." In the meantime, Microsoft is taking preview requests at this page.
If an organization using the Microsoft Defender Experts for Hunting service wants to consult a Microsoft expert, then they'll need an "Experts on Demand" account. Experts on Demand isn't new. It's been around for a couple of years and is part of Microsoft's overall Threat Experts service offerings.
Lastly, Microsoft announced a new "Microsoft Defender Experts for XDR [extended detection and response]" managed security service. This service "extends beyond endpoints to provide detection and response across Microsoft 365 Defender, investigating alerts and using automation and human expertise to respond to incidents alongside your team." The service is expected to reach "preview in fall 2022."
These three new services join currently existing security offerings by the Microsoft Industry Solutions group. Those existing offerings include Microsoft Security Services for Incident Response for breach analyses and Microsoft Security Services for Modernization for security best practices consulting.
Microsoft's Security Investment for Partners
Microsoft provided some encouragement to its managed detection and response partners by describing its future security services investments. For instance, Microsoft is planning to make "an incremental multimillion-dollar financial investment this coming year" to support its managed XDR partners.
The investments for Microsoft's managed XDR partners will have three focus areas, namely:
- "A new managed XDR partner designation within MISA [Microsoft Intelligent Security Association]"
- "A new co-sell benefit for managed XDR partners" regarding advanced Microsoft security products, and
- "New APIs to help ensure partners have access to Microsoft threat intelligence."
Microsoft is planning to tell more in that regard to its partners at the Microsoft Inspire online event for partners in July.
There's also a Microsoft Security Summit online event happening on May 12. It'll feature talks by Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, and Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president for security, compliance, identity and management at Microsoft.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.