What’s New with Microsoft Cloud App Security?

Since the conception of smart devices, apps have been a constant companion in everyday activities—especially for corporate use. And with the high rate of usage across the world, cybercriminals see this as a great opportunity to initiate an attack.  

Cybercriminals can do so by exploring a company’s IT ecosystem to discover some cracks and eventually intrude on its network. They were able to do this in the most strategic way because it takes 97 days for an app creator to administer a patch. This is from the time that a vulnerability is discovered until the patch is released.  

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And while ransomware attacks are still dangerous as before, their impact and scale may begin to decline.
Hackers are now focused on developing more discreet methods of spreading and monetizing a ransomware. Without a doubt, this keeps ransomware attacks a major concern for 2023 and the next few years. 

And if you have already migrated to Office 365 business, have been using Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise, or have been onboarded to another Microsoft-driven ecosystem, this is where Microsoft Cloud App Security can make so much difference in your fight against these hackers. What are the most recent updates that you should know about it? How can you maximize it for your business? Read on to find out.  

Microsoft Cloud App Security no longer 

In the first few months of 2023, the Microsoft Cloud App Security we all knew and loved changed its name to Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps. And like we all expected it to be, it is not without its major improvements from the previous version. Primarily, it has become a part of Microsoft 365 Defender, which allows further mobility for security admins in one platform.  

Also, it has now turned into a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB). It can support various deployment modes along with visibility, more control over data travel, and deeper access to analytics—all are readily accessible to counter threats across the board.  

And not to mention, it natively integrates Microsoft solutions with great consideration for security professionals, yielding to simpler deployment, seamless management, and broad automation capabilities. It follows the following framework: 

  • Exploration and control of shadow IT – you can identify your company’s cloud apps and services while investigating the usage patterns and risk levels. 
  • Sensitive information protection anywhere in the cloud – you can learn more about the app data, its classification, and how to prevent unauthorized exposure. This is where you also set policies and controls across your cloud apps.  
  • Safeguarding against cyber threats and anomalies – you can detect unusual app data access or usage to help you identify and mitigate threats as soon as possible.  
  • Assessing the compliance of cloud apps – you can evaluate if your apps comply with the set security requirements, industry standards, and regulatory compliances.  

What makes the new Microsoft Cloud App Security relevant in the years to come? 

With industries saturated with cloud-based infrastructures for their apps or most likely have done Office 365 migration, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps should future-proof your ecosystem for years. Here are its inclusions that can gear you up for the long run: 

  • Discovery and Security Risk Assessment – Microsoft Cloud App Security enables the discovery of cloud apps used within an organization and assesses their risk level based on various factors such as data compliance, security, and user activity. 
  • Threat Protection – It provides advanced threat protection capabilities to detect and respond to security threats such as malware, phishing, and ransomware attacks. 
  • Data Protection – Microsoft Cloud App Security helps organizations enforce data protection policies by monitoring and controlling data access and activities and implementing data loss prevention (DLP) policies. 
  • Conditional Access – It enables organizations to control cloud application access based on user location, device, and risk level. 
  • Compliance – Microsoft Cloud App Security helps organizations achieve compliance with industry regulations and standards by providing tools for monitoring and reporting on compliance-related activities. 
  • Integration – It enables organizations to control cloud application access based on user location, device, and risk level. 

How can you maximize new Microsoft Cloud App Security? 

To maximize the new iteration of Microsoft Cloud App Security, you can follow these steps: 

  1. Enable all the security features – Microsoft Cloud App Security offers a variety of security features, including threat protection, data loss prevention, and access controls. Make sure to enable all the features that are relevant to your organization. 
  2. Monitor your cloud apps – Use the app discovery feature to find all the cloud apps being used in your organization. Once you know what apps are being used, you can monitor them for security risks. 
  3. Set up policies – Create policies that define the rules for how your cloud apps can be used. This can include policies around data access, file sharing, and user behavior. 
  4. Use the risk assessment feature – It enables organizations to control cloud application access based on user location, device, and risk level. 
  5. Integrate with other Microsoft security tools – Microsoft Cloud App Security can be integrated with other Microsoft security tools, such as Azure Active Directory, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, and Security Baseline. Integrating these tools can provide a more comprehensive IT security solution. 
  6. Train your employees – Make sure your employees are trained in how to use cloud apps securely. This can include training on how to identify and report security risks, as well as best practices for data access and sharing. 

Whether you’re a long-time user of Office 365 business apps or other digital tools, your cloud journey presses on. Like any other journey, it is without challenges, such as the cyber threat landscape. As you walk through the depths of digital transformation for your modern IT workplace, have a companion that will guide you through the process. We’re here to help. Talk to us

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