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Microsoft unveils three new security managed services

By Catherine Knowles
Tue 10 May 2022

Microsoft is officially offering new and expanded services for security under a new service category, Microsoft Security Experts.

Security Experts includes three new managed services - Microsoft Defender Experts for Hunting, Microsoft Defender Experts for extended detection and response (XDR), Microsoft Security Services for Enterprise - as well as two existing services, Microsoft Security Experts for Modernisation, and Microsoft Security Experts for Incident Response.

Last year, Microsoft Security blocked more than 9.6 billion malware threats and more than 35.7 billion phishing and other malicious emails.

Furthermore, Microsoft Security is actively tracking more than 35 ransomware families and 250 unique threat actors across observed nation state, ransomware and criminal activities, and its technology has blocked more than 900 brute force password theft attempts every second.

Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president security, compliance and identity at Microsoft, says, “As attacks increase in scale, so must our defences. It's getting harder every day for organisations to build and maintain a full security team, let alone one with the ever-expanding skill set required to meet the range of today's security demands.

"This is why we are launching Microsoft Security Experts, which combines expert-trained technology with human-led services to help organisations achieve more secure, compliant, and productive outcomes. It is our vision of delivering this category of services end-to-end, across security, compliance, identity, management, and privacy.”

Microsoft's three new managed services that will help partners and customers scale their team of experts to fit their needs, without having to face hiring and training challenges.

Microsoft Defender Experts for Hunting is for customers who have a robust security operations centre but want Microsoft to help them proactively hunt for threats across Microsoft Defender data, including endpoints, Office 365, cloud applications, and identity.

Microsoft's experts will investigate anything they find and hand off the contextual alert information and remediation instructions to the business for it to quickly respond, the company states.

The Experts on Demand offering will also provide businesses access to consultations with a Microsoft expert about a specific incident, nation-state actor or attack vector. Businesses will also receive specific recommendations to help them understand and improve their security posture.

Defender Experts for Hunting will be generally available from mid-2022, and interested customers can request to be part of the preview.

Microsoft Defender Experts for XDR is available for customers who need to extend the capacity of their security operations centre. It is a managed XDR service that 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 the business security team.

This service allows the business to stay in control and reduce costs, excess noise, and manual processes. Defender Experts for XDR will move into preview in late 2022.

Microsoft Security Services for Enterprise is available for large enterprises looking for more comprehensive, high-touch managed services from Microsoft experts, the company states.

This comprehensive, expert-led service combines proactive threat hunting and managed XDR, leveraging Microsoft's complete security information and event management (SIEM) and XDR stack to protect all cloud environments and all platforms. Dedicated Microsoft security experts will manage onboarding, daily interaction, practice modernisation, and incident response for businesses.

Microsoft Security Services for Enterprise is sold through a custom statement of work and is available now.

Microsoft Security currently already offers a broad set of services for incident response and advisory through its Microsoft Industry Solutions group. These service offerings are designed to support customers in times of crisis and to help them modernise their security practices, according to the company.

They will become part of the Microsoft Security Experts portfolio moving forward and will be delivered by Microsoft's global team of professional services experts.

Microsoft Security Services for Modernisation is for customers who want to take advantage of Microsoft best practices and know-how as they adopt new security capabilities and move further along their security transformation.

It provides consulting services that help customers at any stage of their security journey modernise their security posture and execute a zero trust approach.

Microsoft Security Services for Incident Response supports customers before, during and after a breach. Incident response and recovery experts is designed to help customers remove a bad actor from their environment, remediate their defences after a breach, and build resilience against future attacks.

Microsoft's global team of experts will leverage their strategic partnerships with security organisations and governments globally, as well as with internal Microsoft product groups, to respond to incidents and help customers secure their most sensitive, critical environments, the company states.

Along with additional solutions, Microsoft has increased investment in Managed XDR Partners.

Microsoft states the company is fully committed to working with an ecosystem of partners and technologies that provide customers the flexibility to choose what works for them, and to leverage those trusted relationships for the best outcomes and returns on their investment.

As announced by the company, to help enable its managed detection and response partners meet this growing demand, Microsoft will be making an incremental multi-million-dollar financial investment this coming year in its managed XDR partner community in three key areas:

  • Implementing a new managed XDR partner designation within the Microsoft Intelligence Security Association (MISA) to unlock an expanded set of co-marketing benefits, to ensure partner offerings are front and centre in each customer conversation.
  • Launching a new co-sell benefit for managed XDR partners, to help them build their business around Microsoft's advanced security products.
  • Building new APIs to help ensure partners have access to Microsoft threat intelligence.

These new investments will expand the way Microsoft integrates with its managed XDR partners and create exciting new go-to-market opportunities.

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