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Microsoft Cloud App Security Launching in April

Microsoft Cloud App Security — which protects customer data within SaaS applications — is set to debut in April. The move could give channel partners and ISVs more piece of mind as they migrate customer workloads to Office 365, Microsoft Azure, and third-party SaaS platforms like Box and Dropbox.

Microsoft Cloud App Security is based on technology from Adallom, a cloud access security broker (CASB) acquired in September 2015. Ahead of the acquisition, the platform already allowed customers to:

  • Gain intelligence into application usage
  • Monitor privileged user accounts
  • Prevent data leakage to unmanaged devices
  • Manage the sharing of confidential data
  • Identify malicious data exfiltration
  • Address regulatory and compliance mandates for data in the cloud

Adallom also supported a range of third-part clouds — including Amazon Web Services, Box, Dropbox, Google Apps, Salesforce and more. It sounds like the new offering — Microsoft Cloud App Security — will continue to support third-party platforms. However, I haven’t confirmed that Microsoft will support head-on rivals like Amazon and Google.

Office 365 and Azure Security

Bret Arsenault

Bret Arsenault

For partners and customers, most folks will be watching to see how Microsoft Cloud App Security safeguards data in Office 365 and Azure. It’s one piece in a broader Microsoft security strategy. Among the other enhancements to watch for, according to Microsoft Chief Information Security Officer Bret Arsenault:

  • Advanced security alerts, which notify Office 365 admins of anomalous or suspicious activity in the service so that they can take action.
  • Cloud app discovery, which enables IT to analyze which cloud services their users are connecting to.
  • App permissions, which provides the ability to approve or revoke permissions for third party services that your users are authorized to connect to Office 365.

Clearly, Arsenault’s comments (shared in a February 25 blog) target corporate IT managers. We’re checking to see if/how those enhancements will extend to Microsoft’s dashboards for channel partners — especially MSPs that remotely manage and monitor multiple customer settings.

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