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HomeArtificial Intelligence2024: The year Microsoft's AI-powered zero trust vision is realized

2024: The year Microsoft’s AI-powered zero trust vision is realized

2024: The year Microsoft’s AI-powered zero trust vision is realized

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Microsoft’s vision of zero-trust security is driven by generative AI and reflects how identity and network access must constantly improve to counter complex cyberattacks.

Their numerous security announcements at Ignite 2023 reflect how they are designing the future of zero trust with greater adaptability and engineered contextual intelligence. The Microsoft Ignite 2023 Newsbook summarizes the new products announced this week at the event.

Zero Trust is essential for the future of Microsoft

Throughout the Ignite 2023 sessions, Microsoft clarified that its shift to a trust model is based on identity. Zero trust permeates their security strategy going forward, and their identity-centric approach to defining and delivering a security service edge (SSE) solution reflects the scale they are focused on achieving. Its SEE solution is based on the use of Microsoft Entra for Internet, Private Access and Defender for cloud applications.

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“We simply have to always assume a violation, and that means continuous monitoring. It means tons and tons of log files. It means that everything must constantly emit data that helps whether it can be trusted,” said Alex Simons, corporate vice president of Identity and Network Access at Microsoft, during the session “Accelerate your zero trust journey with unified access controls.”

Simon continued: “Our conditional access policy engine is at the heart of this. This gives you a place to be able to describe your corporate policy, who and what type of device should be able to access what types of resources, when, at what time and what level of risk, all combined in one place. .”

Simons emphasized Microsoft’s full commitment to zero trust core principles throughout the session. He explained how the core zero trust principles of explicitly verifying identities, using least privileged access, and assuming a breach has already occurred are the cornerstones of Microsoft’s entire network access, identity, and security service edge development. . Simon emphasized that Microsoft is fully integrated into the fabric of trust it has created, where every identity, resource, resource request, resource, and location is constantly verified.

Thursday’s zero trust session also explained how essential the Conditional Access policy engine and Microsoft Enter are to the zero trust future at Microsoft. Entra permissions management is critical to Microsoft’s zero trust security strategy because it enforces least privilege access and provides a unified interface for managing and monitoring permissions across multi-cloud environments.

Source: Accelerate your zero trust journey with a unified access controls session, Microsoft Ignite 2023

Microsoft’s zero trust vision takes shape

Sinead Odonovan, vice president of product management at Microsoft SSE, provided a comprehensive overview of the SSE platform and the solution roadmap that the identity and network access teams are working on.

Odonovan said the team aims to deliver six core elements of its zero-trust-based SSE solution roadmap this quarter, emphasizing secure web gateways and VPN replacements. In the first half of 2024, Microsoft Internet Access and Private Access will be released for general availability. The future roadmap includes more solutions to strengthen your zero trust strategy, including improving network DLP, BYOD, threat protection, and firewall support.

Source: Accelerate your zero trust journey with a unified access controls session, Microsoft Ignite 2023

Microsoft launched its new Unified Security Operations Platform suite last week at Ignite 2023, integrating Microsoft Sentinel, Microsoft Defender XDR, and Microsoft Security Copilot. By integrating SIEM, XDR and AI for real-time threat analysis and response, enterprise customers will have continuous monitoring and adaptive threat response essential in zero trust, ensuring threat detection and mitigation in all segments of the network.

VentureBeat asked Forrester principal analyst Allie Mellen why Microsoft is consolidating security components now and entering the XDR market. Mellen said, “Security professionals deeply value the quality of detections available in XDR and the flexibility of SIEM. However, many are wondering…why do I need two separate products in the SOC to perform detection and response (XDR and SIEM)? Mellin added: “This is important for several reasons. The CISO is always looking for opportunities to consolidate data to save costs. With separate XDR and SIEM, data for detection and investigation is stored in two separate places, which is frustrating for security teams who already have to defend their exorbitant SIEM budget.”

Mellon also mentioned that security analysts want a unified analyst experience to simplify detection, investigation and response in one place. Since these two products previously lacked a unified analyst experience, it forced security analysts to switch between two different viewpoints regularly, Mellen explained.

Mellen continued: “Bringing these two products together into a unified analyst experience simplifies the workflow of security analysts. “Now they can investigate and respond to XDR and SIEM incidents in one place while maintaining the quality of XDR detections and the flexibility of SIEM.”

Comparing how Ignite 2023 security announcements strengthen zero trust security

Taken together, the security announcements at Ignite 2023 reflect the central role that identity and network access play in Microsoft’s broader integration strategy. Microsoft provided examples of internal adoption of SSE, Entra, and InTune.

The full scope of Microsoft’s zero trust vision is taking shape. Gen AI contributes across a broad spectrum of use cases to help Microsoft customers implement their approaches toward a zero trust framework. It’s encouraging to see Microsoft realize that its customers have heterogeneous environments that challenge easy integration. The core technologies of its zero trust innovations are based on enabling continuous monitoring, adaptive response to threats, and hardening all network segments against emerging cyber threats. The following table provides an overview of the security improvements and their value for zero trust security.

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