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Microsoft 365 security and compliance in Defender

Published on June 14, 2022

I am sure that cyber security and compliance regulations have sat high on your priority list for a long time. Especially for financial services, healthcare or government companies, the imperative to safeguard sensitive data has always been of utmost importance.

With many workforces operating in a hybrid model, security and compliance have become more complicated. Company and customer data now move between many devices and geographical locations.

Someone using a tablet in their local cafe will be sending data to someone else on their laptop and home network. Cyber security can no longer rely on office walls to keep endpoints safe.

The need to secure the devices, applications and identities that access your corporate data is critical more than ever.

What do we mean by security and compliance?

You have likely heard the terms ‘security and compliance’ used frequently. You need to maintain both, but what is the difference?

Security is about keeping your systems and data safe from threats. It is a measure you need to take to maintain compliance and ensure your data protections meet industry and government regulations.

The common regulations that Australian businesses need to comply with include:

  • The Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme
  • APRA CPS234
  • PCI DSS
  • GDPR

Security is the proactive measures you take to align your organisation with these regulations and safeguard sensitive employee and customer data.

Organisations need security and compliance to protect their data from threats and their company from scrutiny should an attack occur. Microsoft Defender provides several tools to help organisations with security and compliance. Defender is one such tool that provides a comprehensive approach.

What is Microsoft Defender?

Microsoft Defender delivers security and compliance solutions to protect the devices within your organisation and, in turn, your sensitive data. It includes advanced threat protection, data loss prevention and device management for endpoints such as tablets, phones and laptops.

It is a cloud-based solution that targets threats moving laterally through your organisation. What do I mean by this?

Cyber security solutions might alert you to suspicious login activity. Then, you might receive another alert for a cyber security threat within your applications.

When you receive two alerts, you might mistake these for two bad actors. They are likely the same threat, moving laterally.

Microsoft Defender recognises and alerts you to all threats targeting your network to identify lateral movement and persistent threats like this in your network. It also delivers preventative protections to reduce the chances of a bad actor breaching endpoints, data and identities.

What Microsoft Defender includes

Microsoft Defender provides real-time protection against threats to your endpoints with the following features:

  • Threat and vulnerability management discovers and prioritises threats, software vulnerabilities and misconfigurations so you can proactively resolve them and better protect your business and team. By using the built-in tools, you can get a clear picture of the current state of your security posture and take steps to improve it.
  • Reduces the attack surface within your organisation through application control, firewalls, network protection, etc. Microsoft Defender reduces the attack surface by investigating and responding to these events. It also provides a way to monitor and respond to threats in real-time, which helps you stay ahead of the curve regarding the latest cyber security threats.
  • Endpoint detection and response (EDR) delivers alerts based on behavioural inconsistencies to remove persistent threats from your organisation. It helps you detect, investigate, and respond to advanced threats on your endpoints. EDR also provides you with rich visibility into activity on your endpoints so that you can quickly understand what’s happening in your environment and take appropriate action.
  • Automated investigation and remediation responds to low-level security alerts and resolves them for you so that your cyber security team can focus on removing sophisticated threats. One of Microsoft Defender’s most powerful features is its ability to investigate and remediate threats automatically. When it detects a threat, Defender launches an investigation and takes action to mitigate it, ensuring you always have protection from the latest threats.
  • APIs and integration bring together Microsoft Defender and your existing cyber security solutions. One of the benefits of Microsoft Defender is the ability to integrate with other security solutions and reporting tools using APIs. You can ensure that all security data comes together to provide comprehensive protection for your organisation. Additionally, integration with other security solutions can improve your compliance posture.

Why choose Microsoft Defender for endpoint security?

Microsoft Defender is easy to configure and delivers a few significant benefits to your organisation.

Compliance with industry regulations

Microsoft Defender provides a centralised platform for managing security and compliance requirements. It can help you comply with industry-specific regulations like PCI DSS.

A proactive approach to security

Microsoft Defender takes a proactive approach to security by providing comprehensive, real-time protection against malware and other threats. By combining the power of artificial intelligence (AI) with advanced threat protection technologies, Microsoft Defender detects and blocks threats before they damage your business.

Cost-effectiveness

Microsoft Defender comes with some Microsoft 365 plans, or you can purchase it as a standalone service. Using Microsoft Defender, you can reduce the number of security products you need to deploy and manage. Finally, because Microsoft Defender is a cloud-based solution, you pay only for what you use.

How TAS supports security and compliance

With so many endpoints scattered across different locations, you need the right security and compliance to ensure your data’s safety. For this reason, Microsoft Defender is an essential solution in the modern workplace.

TAS understands the unique endpoint management needs of the healthcare, government and financial services industries. We can advise you on choosing a solution, implementing it, and providing ongoing support. Visit our Data Security Management page for more on our capabilities.

Author

Viraj Joshi

Associate Product Manager

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