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Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities

Blair Hanley Frank | Feb. 13, 2017
New features for Windows and Office 365 aim to help businesses with cybersecurity

Microsoft is also allowing mobile device management (MDM) software to apply settings and configurations from the Security Baseline Policies list. Previously, those settings were only available through Group Policy. It's a move that's designed to make it possible for administrators to have the same policies on devices managed using Group Policy and MDM.

The company also released a new MDM Migration Analytics Tool designed to help customers figure out migrating from Group Policy to MDM. It scans a system for all of the policies applied to it, tries to map those policies to their MDM equivalents, and spits out a report of the results.

There's one hitch to MMAT when it comes to international users: The tool only works on the English names of Group Policy settings, which means that the system it runs on needs an English language pack. At this point, Microsoft recommends that users install English on a non-English system to work around that issue.

Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, which is designed to help find and contain security threats, is gaining support for custom security rules to protect against particular threats.

o365 secure score Microsoft

The Office 365 Secure Score tool provides users a graphical representation of how fully they've deployed the security tools at their disposal.

Office 365

Organizations using Office 365 can use a new Secure Score tool to benchmark their security. It analyzes an organization's configuration, then provides them with a score based on the security controls they have fully or partially deployed.

The feature also provides guidance on what Office 365 security features administrators could use that would improve the security of the organizations they work for. By default, the Score Analyzer first shows users features that provide the most security benefit with the least impact to users and then lets people drill down further from there.

While the score is a useful tool for giving organizations an at-a-glance view of their security practices, it will also have some practical considerations. The Hartford plans to use the Secure Score in evaluating customers that it's considering for cybersecurity insurance, Microsoft CISO Bret Arsenault said in a blog post.

Microsoft also announced the private beta of its previously-announced Office 365 Threat Intelligence service. That allows administrators to see information about the cybersecurity threats both inside and outside an organization.

For example, admins can see who in their organization is the most targeted for attack, along with general information about security threats, like how much bitcoin attackers usually request from a ransomware attack.

 

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