Security operations teams are overwhelmed trying to protect their organizations against an onslaught of cyberattacks, including a 92 percent rise in ransomware attacks.1 Too often, existing security tools are siloed or not designed to meet the needs of today’s hybrid cloud environment. The result is overworked security analysts, unaddressed alerts, and undetected threats. As the threat landscape evolves, protecting today’s hybrid cloud environment requires a comprehensive approach that gives security operations (SecOps) teams the context they need to protect their organization better and faster.
Microsoft Sentinel is a modern, cloud-native security information and event management (SIEM) solution that collects security data from your entire organization. Using hundreds of connectors and AI to help SecOps teams prioritize the most important incidents, Microsoft Sentinel includes user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) and rich security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) capabilities.
We’re delighted to announce that Microsoft is named a Leader in the 2022 Gartner® Magic QuadrantTM for Security Information and Event Management and is positioned highest on the measure of Ability to Execute axis. We believe Microsoft’s placement in the Leaders quadrant validates our commitment to empowering our customers with a cloud-native SIEM powered by AI and automation.
Figure 1. Gartner Magic Quadrant™ for Security Information and Event Management.
(Source: Gartner, 2022)
It is fulfilling to see the ongoing value our customers realize from Microsoft Sentinel today. iHeartMedia, a multinational entertainment company, chose Microsoft Sentinel for its simplicity, ease of management, and cost efficiency. “One screen shows our analysts the intelligence to alert based on the data it combines from multiple systems, including firewalls, domain controllers, and everything else,” says Janet Heins, Chief Information Security Officer, iHeartMedia.
Another global operation, Pearson VUE, also chose to empower its cybersecurity team with consolidated visibility by migrating to Microsoft Sentinel, while benefitting from reduced infrastructure costs. “I appreciate the collaborative approach Microsoft takes by having its team meet with ours to share advice on implementation details and fast-track issue resolution,” explains Vladan Pulec, Enterprise Architect, Pearson VUE.
Our customers are our team’s biggest inspiration for delivering ongoing innovation. We’ve continued to make investments in Microsoft Sentinel over the last 12 months, including:
Microsoft’s overall vision for protecting customers from threats is unique compared to vendors that only offer a SIEM. Microsoft takes the best of SIEM and combines that with the best of extended detection and response (XDR) to deliver a unified security operations platform—the breadth of coverage only a SIEM can provide and the depth of insight that XDR provides. That means teams using Microsoft security solutions have more context to work from to resolve attacks faster. Customers using our XDR capabilities, such as Microsoft 365 Defender, also receive a discount on their data ingestion into Microsoft Sentinel.
We know that in today’s threat environment there’s no time to rest on our laurels. We’ll continue to listen to customer needs and innovate to enhance Microsoft Sentinel’s already sophisticated threat-protection capabilities so that SecOps certified can efficiently investigate, track, and automate their response to stay ahead of attackers. While we already have comprehensive and integrated SIEM and XDR capabilities, we’ll continue to do more to bring these two capabilities together as an integrated and open security platform. Thank you to all our customers for your feedback and your inspiration.
To get the specifics on why Microsoft is recognized in the Leader quadrant, read the full Gartner® 2022 Magic Quadrant™ for Security Information and Event Management report. Microsoft Security is committed to empowering SecOps teams with security tools and platforms that enable the critical protection your users rely on. To experience Microsoft Sentinel at your organization, get started with a free trial today.
To learn more about Microsoft Security solutions, visit our website. Bookmark the Security blog to keep up with our expert coverage on security matters. Also, follow us at @MSFTSecurity for the latest news and updates on cybersecurity.
1 Ransomware attacks nearly doubled in 2021, Security Magazine. February 28, 2022.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Information and Event Management, written by Pete Shoard, Andrew Davies, and Mitchell Scheider. October 10, 2022.
Gartner and Magic Quadrant are registered trademarks and service marks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the US and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
The graphic above was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon from Microsoft.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
Microsoft seems to have a cozy yet bullish relationship in the Industrial Metaverse. Microsoft Executive VP and Chief Commercial Officer Judson Althoff told investors last month that three brand categories have emerged in the Metaverse; consumer, commercial, and industrial. The metaverse is still young but is showing promise in allowing businesses to better engage and become more productive with clients. Althoff is known for using ioT technologies instead of prototyping products to help reduce energy and waste.
While these were all things businesses should be pursuing, one thing Althoff seemed to leave out, according to Bob Evans at Acceleration Economy, is how businesses can better connect with their customers and deliver a more refined product. What's the value of sustainability with less energy consumption and product waste if consumers aren't impressed with the product or service being delivered? Althoff could have been more persuasive with his argument if he addressed "the ability for businesses to deliver to their customers better and more finely tuned products, services, and experiences," said Evans.
Althoff had this to say in a conversation with Goldman Sachs analyst Kash Rangan when discussing the industrial metaverse.
“To simplify, I look at it in kind of three buckets: there’s the consumer metaverse, and there’ll be a monetization thing there in the consumer metaverse.
“There’s the commercial metaverse, where people will have more engaging and experiential collaboration in the metaverse. And I do think that there’s an opportunity there to bring people from around the world with different perspectives to collaborate.
“But where I actually have the most amount of passion is in this thing I call the industrial metaverse, and we have real tangible outcomes for driving with customers today. And so think of it as combining sets of technologies and IoT capabilities where you come in and create a sensor fabric for any industrial process, any manufacturing environment, any supply chain or logistics scenario."
While being industrially efficient does carry a level of importance, interlacing that with great experiences with products and services for consumers is also important. Evans says "I’m all for being as efficient as possible with energy usage, and with reducing waste wherever and whenever possible. But those highly desirable outcomes need to be fused with great experiences for customers, and great products and services and outcomes for customers." He's looking for a bit more "dazzle" from Althoff. Do you agree?
After four long years—during which I almost forgot about it!—Microsoft has finally released an updated Surface Studio 2+. This new version of its all-in-one PC for creative professionals brings it closer to current with today's computing-power trends, but still not at pole position, while maintaining its winning design.
However, after seeing three of these (admittedly incredibly designed) products now released with mobile processors and graphics that are dated on arrival, I can’t help but wonder: Why does Microsoft even bother with the computer part of the Studio equation anymore?
Most everyone is clearly in love with the 27-inch, beyond-4K display attached to Microsoft’s brilliant Zero Gravity Hinge. It’s the computer part that seems to get in the way, rendering each Studio relatively obsolete in short order. So why not just make a Surface Monitor (driven by Thunderbolt 4) and drop the computer part?
But first, let’s investigate the ups and downs of today’s Surface Studio sticking with the all-in-one approach.
Unless Microsoft is cool with selling these at a loss, it’s clear that the Surface Studio absolutely works as a concept for an all-in-one PC for digital artists and designers. The release of the Surface Studio 2+ is evidence enough that it at least has an audience large enough to sustain two sequels. (Though, again, that four-year delay between releases was cause for concern.)
If you weren't familiar with the Surface Studio, would you even assume there's a computer in there? (Credit: Kyle Cobian)
The number one benefit of the Studio being an AIO is its simplicity. The thing comes in a box with a Surface Pen, Surface Keyboard, and Surface Mouse included. Just plug it into an outlet, and you're ready to go.
Another major benefit, on a related note, is space saving. Having the computer hardware come part and parcel with the display stands to save you lots of desk space. Also related to space savings: The Studio doesn’t rely on Intel or AMD integrated graphics, like most other mini PCs do, by fitting a laptop-grade Nvidia GPU inside.
However, that brings us to exactly what seems to drag down the Surface Studio product with every iteration, and it’s a problem that could likely be easily solved.
Getting right to the point, it’s the mobile processors. (Well, that and general tardiness of updates, but more on that in a moment.)
Intel and Nvidia’s mobile processors have clearly exploded in capability over the past decade, closing the gap between them and standard desktop parts—but the gap persists. It’s still the case that desktop-grade CPUs and GPUs rule the roost for performance, efficiency be damned.
But, with a 27-inch drafting-table computer, I doubt energy efficiency is the chief concern of end users. It’s far more likely to be some variation of “how quickly can this thing render and export my projects?”
This is mighty convenient, but is it essential? I'm dubious. (Credit: Kyle Cobian)
The Studio is chiefly aimed at creative professionals, people that work in visual media of all kinds—particularly art, design, and photography. If there’s one thing I know from being in the wider media world for more than a decade, it’s that deadlines matter.
What could help with meeting those deadlines more reliably and easily? Faster processing, of course, like that found in desktop-grade hardware. The faster that your machine can render or export your work, the sooner you should be able to meet that deadline.
Furthermore, it stands to reason that a Studio with more powerful desktop parts attached would be able to handle projects that are even richer and more complex—not to mention simply more projects at once.
There aren't many 27-inch monitors with touch and stylus support. (Credit: Kyle Cobian)
Finally, not only is the Studio working with laptop parts in a desktop environment, but it’s mobile hardware that has repeatedly come far too late. In fact, just as the Surface Studio 2+ is set to hit shelves with an 11th Gen "Tiger Lake" Intel Core i7-11370H, Intel showed off its 13th Gen “Raptor Lake” desktop processors weeks earlier. And that means 13th Gen mobile processors can't be all that far behind.
While there aren’t many direct competitors to the Studio for Microsoft to worry about, it’s still working with a figurative ball and chain around its ankle.
Here’s the thing: If you’re going to be ultimately desk-bound with a product such as the Surface Studio 2+, why tether yourself to components designed for laptops just for the sake of saving a few inches of space? I think you’re losing more than you’re gaining that way.
With the majority of the computing components inside the Studio being within the device’s base, what’s holding Microsoft back from just gutting that thing, filling it with weights, and letting any particularly beefy PC drive the display over Thunderbolt 4? Aside from the fact that Microsoft would no longer be able to charge $4,500 per unit, I’m failing to see it.
Apple's Pro Display XDR is definitely a benchmark for other monitors. (Credit: Kyle Cobian)
OK, I can play devil’s advocate here and appeal to almighty capitalism: Microsoft, think of the volume you might be able to drive versus the high yield (and likely lower volume) of the Surface Studio 2+ today. Even if you would have to justifiably cut the cost of such a product, it wouldn’t have to be by much.
Just look at Apple’s $5,000 Pro Display XR. That’s just a screen—albeit one of the best displays ever made, designed to replace five-figure displays used in pro film editing—and Apple isn’t afraid to charge a mighty premium. Now, consider Apple's $1,599 Studio Display, which is still sharper than the Surface Studio screen but also is a standard, non-touch panel.
Now, just imagine there's no computer under there—it's possible. (Credit: Kyle Cobian)
If Microsoft were to cut the price of a would-be, computer-less “Surface Slab” (trademarked, all rights reserved) in half (to, say, $2,000), you’ve just made the core of the Studio’s innovation—its massive, movable touch display—available to so many more customers. Freelance contractors could use the powerful desktop systems they already have while saving thousands. And larger design and media firms would stand to save considerably through their special sales channels.
Most important? Microsoft could reach far more professionals with its incredible digital drafting table if the thing wasn’t permanently tethered to a whole computer that, honestly, is bottlenecking the full potential of this brilliant creators’ tool.
Call it a Surface Slab, a Surface Monitor, I don’t care. All I know is that—for once—removing the computer from this PC might be the best move to maintain a consistently relevant, compelling product.
Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning.
A clean installation of Windows 10 is the process of erasing everything to start and starting with a fresh copy of the operating system when a computer has problems. For example, this method can resolve performance, memory, startup, shutdown, and app issues. Also, it's perhaps the best approach to remove viruses and other types of malware, and it can help to improve battery life.
In addition, it's an excellent solution to remove preloaded bloatware (unnecessary preloaded software) from Windows 10. You can use this method to decommission a computer without giving away your personal information. Or you can set up a new installation after replacing the hard drive.
Furthermore, if you have had the same setup for some time, a clean installation is a great option to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10 or upgrade from an older version (such as Windows 7 and Windows 8.1), minimizing the risks of problems during and after the process.
This guide will walk you through the complete process of performing a clean installation.
As you prepare to proceed with a clean installation of Windows 10, it's recommended to complete some essential tasks to minimize issues and potential data loss.
If you already have a backup of the computer and files. You have an activation product key. The device can start from a USB flash drive, and non-essential peripherals are disconnected. Then, you can skip this part and jump to the bootable media creation and a clean install process.
The install process of Windows 10 deletes everything on the drive, which means that backing up the entire device (or at least your files) is a crucial step unless you don't have anything important you want to keep.
Back up entire system
You should create a temporary backup to revert the settings or recover files if something goes wrong during the installation.
You can choose many different solutions, but the easiest way to create a full backup is to use the legacy System Image Backup tool available on Windows 10. It's a deprecated feature, but it continues to work. The tool is also available for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.
Back up files to OneDrive
If you need to back up your documents, pictures, and other important files, you can upload the data to OneDrive or another cloud storage service.
In case you use OneDrive, you can also use the backup settings page to sync your profile folders, including Documents, Pictures, and Desktop, to the cloud automatically.
To configure OneDrive backup on Windows 10, use these steps:
Back up files to external storage
If you have a lot of data, syncing the files to the cloud can be expensive and take a long time, and the available space may not even be enough. If this is the case, perhaps the best option would be to copy the files to an external USB hard drive.
To create a file backup manually, connect an external drive with enough storage space to your Windows 10 computer, and use these steps:
After you complete the steps, repeat the instructions to back up the remaining accounts (as necessary). In addition to copying your files, it's also a good idea to create a list of the installed programs with their respective product keys (if applicable) to know the apps to reinstall after the installation.
If you usually don't sync passwords and bookmarks with an online service, now's a good time to export your browser credentials and links as you'll need them later to access your online services.
In case you don't have an external hard drive or one without enough space, we recommend the Western Digital Elements Desktop Hard Drive because of its portability, capacity, and price.
Western Digital Elements Desktop Hard Drive
If you're in the market for an external drive to store file backups, look no further than the Western Digital Elements Desktop Hard Drive. Get up to 18TB of storage and connect with USB-A 3.0 for fast file transfers.
Check Windows 10 activation
Although after activating Windows 10, you no longer have to provide a product key for reinstallation on the same computer. Once the new installation completes, the system will automatically reactivate when it connects to the internet.
To confirm whether Windows 10 is properly activated, use these steps:
After you complete the steps, Windows 10 should automatically reactivate after the clean installation if your current setup is activated.
Obtain Windows 10 genuine key
If you have to set up an installation on a computer that never had an activated version of Windows 10, or you plan to upgrade from Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, you will have to purchase a valid license from the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab), Amazon, or another retailer.
Download essential drivers
Windows 10 can detect and install most drivers automatically. However, it's usually recommended to download at least the essential drivers before the process (such as for the network adapter and graphics card), as a precaution, in case the setup fails to add these drivers correctly, especially on custom computer builds.
You can use our guide to install device drivers on Windows 10.
Here's a list of the most popular manufacturers to download the latest device drivers:
Confirm Windows 10 requirements
If the device already has Windows 10, the following major update will likely meet the minimum hardware requirements. However, if you're about to upgrade a computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you want to check that the device meets the minimum requirements.
Here are the minimum requirements to install the Windows 10 November 2021 Update (and higher):
You can use these instructions to check the device technical specifications to confirm you can do a clean install of Windows 10.
Change boot order on firmware
It's also important to ensure the computer can boot from a USB flash drive. If this is not the case, you'll need to change the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) on the motherboard.
Change boot order using UEFI
On computers already running Windows 10 or 8.1, you can access the settings to change the boot order within the desktop interface.
UEFI settings on Windows 10
To change the UEFI settings on Windows 10, use these steps:
After you complete the steps, the computer should now be able to start from a USB bootable media.
UEFI settings on Windows 8.1
To change the UEFI settings on Windows 8.1, use these steps:
Once you complete the steps, the device will start from a USB flash drive to proceed with the installation process.
UEFI settings on Windows 7
To change the UEFI settings on Windows 7, use these steps:
After you complete the steps, you should be able to start the device using a bootable media.
Configure boot order using BIOS
If you have a legacy BIOS firmware, you can change the boot order with these steps:
Once you complete the steps, the computer can now start from the USB flash drive to upgrade to Windows 10.
Disconnect non-essential peripherals
Typically, peripherals are among the most common reason for problems during a Windows 10 installation. If you have non-essential peripherals connected to the computer (such as removable storage and other USB and Bluetooth devices, printers, scanners, cameras, and others), it's recommended to disconnect them.
You only need a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and internet connection. After the setup, you can reconnect the peripherals (one at a time) to ensure they don't cause any issues.
You will need a USB bootable media to perform a clean installation of Windows 10. You can easily create one using many tools, including the Microsoft Media Creation Tool and Rufus.
Create Windows 10 USB with Media Creation Tool
To create an installation media using the Media Creation Tool, connect a USB flash drive of at least 8GB of space, and use these steps:
Once you complete the steps, the tool will download the files and create an installer with the latest installation files, which you can then use to start the device and configure a fresh copy of Windows 10.
Create Windows 10 USB with Rufus
Alternatively, the Rufus tool can help you create an installation media for computers with UEFI or BIOS firmware.
Rufus is a free tool with many options to help you create a bootable media of Windows 10 faster. However, it's important to remember that it's a third-party option, which Microsoft does not support. As a result, use it at your own risk.
To create a Windows 10 USB installer with Rufus, connect a USB flash drive of at least 8GB of space, and then use these steps:
After you complete the steps, Rufus will download the ISO file from the Microsoft servers, and it'll create the bootable media to perform a clean install of Windows 10.
The installation process of Windows 10 has two main parts, including the setup and out-of-box experience (OOBE). In the setup process, that's where you will select some of the basic settings, and you'll find the options to erase the hard drive, configure the partitions, and clean install Windows 10. The out-of-box experience happens after the setup is complete, and it's the stage where you'll configure your settings, such as region, network, account, privacy, and other settings.
Windows 10 clean install process
After the preparation, you can proceed with the clean installation of Windows 10.
Warning: This is another friendly reminder that this process will erase everything on the computer. Before proceeding, making a temporary full backup of your PC is always recommended.
To do a clean installation of Windows 10, use these steps:
Once you complete the steps, the setup will install a fresh copy of Windows 10 on the device.
If you plan to decommission the computer, you do not need to continue with the out-of-box experience. If this is an upgrade, continue with the instructions below.
Windows 10 out-of-box experience
After the setup, you must continue with the out-of-box experience to configure your preferences and create a new account.
To complete the OOBE on Windows 10, use these steps:
After you complete the steps, the settings will apply to the clean installation of Windows 10, and you should be able to see the default desktop experience.
Once the installation is complete, it's also good to check that Windows 10 isn't missing any critical updates or drivers and is properly activated.
To download and install the latest updates, use these steps:
Once you complete the steps, any available updates will automatically download and install. Also, a restart may be required to complete the update process.
Check missing drivers
To determine whether drivers are missing on Windows 10, use these steps:
If some hardware has problems, you may need to manually install the latest drivers from your computer manufacturer's support website. You can use this guide to install device drivers on Windows 10.
Install missing drivers
On Windows 10, drivers can also be part of the optional updates. If the computer doesn't have all the required drivers, you may be able to download them from Windows Update.
To download missing drivers on Windows 10, use these steps:
After you complete the steps, Windows Update will download and install the missing drivers automatically.
To confirm Windows 10 was activated correctly, use these steps:
In case Windows 10 didn't activate, the device will try to reactivate at a later time. If you're still having issues after a couple of days, you can use the Activation Troubleshooter to activate.
It's time to reinstall the apps, including your preferred web browser, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera to browse the web.
If you use Spotify (opens in new tab) or iTunes (opens in new tab) to listen to tunes while working or surfing the internet, you can download these apps and others from the Microsoft Store.
Also, it's now a good time to download and install the Microsoft Office apps (opens in new tab) to start working with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and managing your emails with Outlook.
Restore files from backup
The last thing left to do is to restore your documents from backup. If you previously configured file backup with OneDrive, the data should already be available inside the OneDrive folder, but if the app didn't configure automatically, you can use this guide.
If you have a backup of your files on an external drive, reconnect the storage to restore the data into the default folders (Documents, Downloads, Pictures, etc.).
To restore files from backup on Windows 10, use these steps:
After you complete the steps, the files will restore to the new location.
Although you can start a clean installation using the Media Creation Tool without a USB media and even the "Reset this PC" option from the recovery settings, these methods have their limitations and do not always work as expected. The bootable media is the alternative if you want the best possible clean installation method.
For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:
The roll-out for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update began around a week ago; the feature update includes interesting new features like OneDrive Files On-Demand, an anti-cheat system and parts of the Fluent Design System. Today, Microsoft has detailed why this update is being rolled out gradually, as opposed to a quicker and wider release.
Initially, only devices which the company has tested itself or via Insiders receive major feature updates like this, as that helps in getting focused feedback, particularly with regards to application compatibility. Primary users of these devices, including those who are part of the Insider programs, then assess the update, and their opinions are then evaluated to identify and remove any number of newfound bugs.
Microsoft has also reiterated the latest security capabilities provided by this update, mentioning that it is currently "the most secure version of Windows 10." Furthermore, the company claims that the download size for feature updates has now been reduced; subsequently, for any user upgrading from the Windows 10 Creators Update via Windows Update, it will be 25% smaller in size.
Additionally, Microsoft claims that it has increased the number of Windows 10 devices tested before the roll-out process began for the Fall Creators Update. The company believes that this approach ensures the "highest quality update experience" for all consumers.
Some will still question the reliability of the testing and roll-out process, and perhaps rightly so, as major issues like missing apps still plague users who installed the Fall Creators Update in the past few days. At the very least, a phased roll-out does give Microsoft a chance to fix bugs like this before its work reaches the masses.
Microsoft has announced that its Adaptive Accessories, which include the Xbox Adaptive Controller, will be available starting October 25 as an effort to make accessibility features an integral part of Windows 11.
Having first introduced its Adaptive Accessories and Surface Adaptive Kit at its Microsoft Ability Summit in May, the brand detailed that the product series includes peripherals that are modified to fit the needs of unconventional users via the addition of mouse tails or thumb support, for example.
Business and education customers can also make use of 3D-printed adaptive grips from Shapeways, which are compatible with the Microsoft Business Pen and Microsoft Classroom Pen 2.
“We’ve made inclusivity a key ingredient in our approach to product-making. This is a long-term journey, but we’re pleased to be doing what we can to solve challenges for the more than 1 billion people in the world with a disability,” Microsoft said in a statement.
In addition to the Xbox Adaptive Controller, Microsoft’s Adaptive Accessories include the Microsoft Adaptive Mouse, the Adaptive Hub (a central connector with wireless buttons in place of a traditional keyboard), and Adaptive Buttons including the D-pad, joystick, and dual-button.
“Each part of this adaptive set is designed in partnership with the disability community to empower people who may have difficulty using a traditional mouse and keyboard. These adaptive accessories exist to address common pain points that can prevent people from getting the most out of their PC,” Microsoft added.
Microsoft has put a heavy focus on accessibility throughout 2022, with several aspects being baked into its software products and services. Windows 11 includes accessibility features such as Focus, Live Captions, Voice Access, and Natural Narrator.
There are also accessibility features in Microsoft Edge, including automatic image descriptions, memorizing aloud, and immersive reader, while Microsoft Editor can help your writing skills in real -time.
Xbox also has a host of accessibility features, such as the Gaming Developer Accessibility Resource Hub, Xbox Accessibility Guidelines, and accessibility resources in the Game Developer Kit.
Protecting your business against growing security threats is a huge priority. Companies of all sizes have increased their spending on cybersecurity solutions to protect their operations over the last year. User spending for the information security and risk management market will grow to USD169.2 billion in 2022, with a constant currency growth of 12.3 percent. The market will reach USD261.9 billion in 2026, with a constant currency growth of 11.1 percent (2021 to 2026).1 And though spending is increasing, cybercriminals aren’t going to slow down their attacks. The average cost of a data breach increased to USD4.35 million in 2022—an all-time high.2 With today’s economic uncertainty and ongoing talent shortages, organizations need comprehensive security that allows them to protect more without expending more.
Microsoft is committed to building a safer world together and helping you maximize the security you already have with your Microsoft investments. We’ve built a simplified and comprehensive security solution with six interconnected product families that protect your entire multicloud, multiplatform digital estate and leverage built-in threat intelligence from the 43 trillion signals we capture every day so you can catch what others miss.3 With Microsoft Security’s multicloud solution, you can simplify your approach to security through vendor consolidation and realize up to 60 percent cost savings.4 Essentially, you can do more with less.
We’re constantly looking for ways to bring more value and simplicity to our customers. At Microsoft Ignite, we announced five new innovations across our comprehensive portfolio so that you can confront the security threats you face. Customers with existing Microsoft 365 E5 licenses already have access to many of these resources—it’s simply a matter of turning them on. Keep memorizing for five ways you can do more—and secure more—with what you have in your security stack.
To stay protected across clouds, start secure with cloud-native protection throughout the cloud application lifecycle. As my colleague Shawn Bice explains in his blog post on Microsoft Defender for Cloud innovations, cloud security requires a comprehensive approach and a centralized, integrated solution to mitigate risk from code to cloud.
Unfortunately, too often, cybersecurity and development teams within organizations operate entirely apart from each other. Applications may be deployed without first addressing security in code. This may cause security problems to be discovered right before deployment or, in many cases, in runtime. Development teams then must scramble to reconfigure or rebuild the application to address the security team’s findings, creating inefficiencies.
With more bad actors exploiting vulnerabilities in the code itself, it’s critically important to build in security from the beginning. Microsoft believes secure code development should be the industry standard. We’re introducing Microsoft Defender for DevOps, which empowers security teams to unify, strengthen, and manage DevOps security, so you can minimize vulnerabilities and cloud misconfigurations, and effectively prioritize and drive remediation in code across multi-pipeline environments.
We also announced the preview of Microsoft Defender Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) so your security teams can save time and remediate the most critical risks with contextual cloud security. New agentless scanning capabilities provide full coverage and real-time assessments across hybrid and multicloud environments. Then, Defender CSPM connects the dots for security teams, integrating insights from Defender for DevOps, Microsoft Defender External Attack Surface Management (EASM), and your workload protection solutions. Instead of sifting through long lists of vulnerable resources, customers can use the attack path analysis built on the cloud security graph to help reduce recommendation noise by up to 99 percent so you can identify the most critical risk on the most important cloud resources along potential attack paths.
With Microsoft Defender for Cloud, our integrated cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP), you can seamlessly integrate security from development to runtime and accelerate threat protection across your multicloud environments. Get started today with the preview of these new innovations, available in the Microsoft Defender for Cloud dashboard, to gain comprehensive protection across clouds.
Building secure apps is just the start. After all, more people now work outside the office for at least a portion of each week. Some never go into the office at all. This—along with infrastructure as code and the rise in apps and clouds—have made organizations increasingly dynamic, so they need to build a trust fabric in their organizations that includes flexible governance without sacrificing protection.
At Ignite, we announced the preview of Microsoft Entra Identity Governance, which helps your organization ensure that the right people have the right access to the right resources at the right time. This release extends our earlier investments in converged identity governance and access management solutions and delivers a comprehensive identity governance product for both on-premises and cloud-based user directories.
The newly released capabilities include Lifecycle Workflows, which automate repetitive tasks and separation of duties in entitlements management to safeguard against compliance issues. These capabilities complement our existing governance features—access reviews, access certification, entitlement management, and privileged identity management. Customers can begin using these features immediately. Licensing terms will be announced with the general availability of Lifecycle Workflows.
Now, when you choose Microsoft Entra Identity Governance, you can simplify operations, support regulatory requirements, and consolidate multiple identity point solutions. Optimization through consolidation is a major way that organizations can do more with less. Be more efficient by unifying your tools. With Microsoft Entra Identity Governance, you can automate employee, supplier, and business partner access to apps and services—in the cloud and on-premises—at enterprise scale.
Protecting people and devices is not just about threats coming from the outside. Organizations need inside-out protection too. A Microsoft study on insider risks found that companies reported an average of 20 data security incidents a year, with 40 percent of those companies reporting a financial impact of USD500,000 or more per incident. To prevent this, companies must make sure their sensitive data isn’t being inappropriately shared—or even removed—by employees, unintentionally or not.
The report recommends evolving to a holistic insider risk management program that makes it easier to prepare for and mitigate these insider risks. That means deploying a solution that optimizes data protection strategy across the cloud, apps, and devices while reducing complexity—vital to doing more with less in compliance. To support your organization’s efforts to protect against insider risks and keep sensitive data protected, we’re growing the Microsoft Purview family of data governance, risk, and compliance solutions.
Microsoft Purview helps protect sensitive data all along its journey, from data source to point of consumption. We announced the general availability of Microsoft Purview Information Protection for Adobe Document Cloud, combining the power of native classification and labeling with the power of Adobe Acrobat to seamlessly secure PDFs. Also in preview are several new data loss prevention capabilities—including granular policy management and contextual evidence for policy matches on endpoint devices—to prevent the unauthorized sharing or transfer of sensitive data. All of these new capabilities can be enabled in the Microsoft Purview compliance portal by customers with a Microsoft 365 E5 license or with the standalone Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance suite.
To help protect sensitive data, strong security against both external threats and insider risks relies on well-managed endpoints. In April 2022, we announced a plan to launch a series of premium endpoint management solutions to help bolster endpoint security, Boost user experiences, and reduce the total cost of ownership. This suite will bring together mission-critical endpoint and security management tools in Microsoft Intune, our cloud-powered unified management solution, and will help protect endpoints in the cloud, on-premises, and across device platforms.
We have committed to innovating in advanced compliance and advanced security. The evolution of our advanced endpoint management plan is another step in providing a comprehensive solution. The suite will include capabilities such as endpoint privilege management, intelligent automation and data insights, remote help, and automated app patching. All these capabilities will be based on Microsoft Intune so you will benefit from our unified console and integrations with our entire security stack: Microsoft Azure Active Directory (now part of Microsoft Entra), Microsoft Defender, Microsoft Priva, and more. Customers with either a Microsoft 365 E3 or E5 license will be able to take advantage of the new suite once it launches in March 2023.
We’re also excited to announce that Microsoft Intune is now the new name for our expanding family of endpoint management products. We remain committed to our customers using Microsoft Configuration Manager and will meet you where you are in your journey to cloud management. Because hybrid work is here to stay, we will continue to deliver more value for better outcomes, better experiences, and simplified IT and security operations through our cloud solutions.
We all know that endpoints are by no means where security stops. We are introducing the preview of automatic attack disruption in Microsoft 365 Defender, which helps protect organizations at machine speed where it all comes together—in the security operations center (SOC). Using the power of extended detection and response (XDR), Microsoft 365 Defender—available in a Microsoft 365 E5 license—correlates trillions of signals across identities, endpoints, email, documents, cloud apps, and more to detect in-progress attacks like ransomware and financial fraud. Automation enables you to be more effective by helping you detect and respond faster and more accurately to external attacks and insider risks.
Once an attack is detected in the environment, affected assets like compromised identities and endpoints are automatically isolated. This game-changing capability limits lateral movement and reduces the overall impact of an attack while leaving the SOC team in control of investigating, remediating, and bringing assets back online.
In addition to attack disruption, we’re going even further to help make your teams’ lives easier. We’ve simplified the investigation experiences in both Microsoft 365 Defender and Microsoft Sentinel to expedite incident response and help defenders stop breaches faster. We do this by reducing context switching.
Besides simplifying investigation experiences, we’re also introducing a new unified search experience and low-cost options of voluminous log storage to enable SOC teams to quickly search massive volumes of historic data. For more hands-on assistance, customers also can now get expert guidance and accelerate their migration to Microsoft Sentinel with Microsoft Sentinel Migration and Modernization Program.
Customers tell us that our tools that support the efforts of their security teams are incredibly valuable. Consider the story of Webber Wentzel, a leading law firm in South Africa. “Security professionals often become disillusioned and disheartened by their work,” said Warren Hero, Chief Information Officer of Webber Wentzel. “With the Microsoft security ecosystem, we now have opportunities for our people to engage in less tedious, more meaningful work while accelerating our security capabilities.”
We know that doing more with less is not just about innovation. It’s also about access. That’s why we are excited to announce a new, limited-time offer to help organizations adapt more easily to the growing threat landscape and macroeconomic pressures. Starting on November 1, 2022, we are giving new and existing customers 50 percent off Microsoft Defender for Endpoint P1 and P2 licenses. This gives organizations looking to modernize their security portfolio the opportunity to move away from legacy antivirus solutions. This is the first step to an integrated security information and event management (SIEM) and XDR solution that improves visibility across identities and endpoints, so they can be more unified and increase SecOps efficiency.
Speaking of efficiency, maximizing the value of your current investments is a fantastic way to operate more efficiently. One of your biggest investments is your people. We can help you educate your employees by providing access to free online security training during Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This free training is available on our Cybersecurity Awareness Month website, along with other resources.
If all these innovations didn’t make it clear, we are absolutely committed to working with defenders and want to give you every tool and resource possible to support your organizations. Our more than 785,000 customers in 120 countries motivate us to maximize value for them by combining six product families into a comprehensive security approach that offers simplified management and built-in threat intelligence that harnesses inputs from 43 trillion signals we process and learn from every single day.3 Do more with whatever you’re already benefiting from, and we’ll continue to strengthen the security of our platform and applications so you can be confident about the security of your data centers and services. To learn more about our innovation announcements, watch the Microsoft Security keynote delivered at Microsoft Ignite 2022.
To learn more about Microsoft Security solutions, visit our website. Bookmark the Security blog to keep up with our expert coverage on security matters. Also, follow us at @MSFTSecurity for the latest news and updates on cybersecurity.
1Gartner® Forecast: Information Security and Risk Management, Worldwide, 2020-2026, 3Q22 Update. September 28, 2022. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
2Cost of a Data Breach , IBM. 2022.
3Cyber Signals, Microsoft. 2022.
4Savings based on publicly available estimated pricing for other vendor solutions and web direct and base price shown for Microsoft offerings.
During a Surface press event today, Microsoft announced integrations of AI-powered image-generation technology into its Bing search engine, Edge browser, and a new Office app called Microsoft Designer. The technology will be powered by DALL-E 2 by OpenAI, which made waves in April for its ability to generate novel images based on written prompts. The technology has also been the subject of ire among some artists due to ethical concerns.
Microsoft's offerings aim to help creators overcome blank-page syndrome by suggesting creative courses of action. In an example of Microsoft Designer provided by Microsoft, someone types a description of what they want to see, such as "Ombre cake decorated with flowers and fall foliage," and they can then scroll through AI-generated image examples that they can choose to add to their design. "Designer invites you to start with an idea and let the AI do the heavy lifting," wrote Microsoft in a press release.
Microsoft Designer originated as part of PowerPoint, where it currently suggests design ideas as a subset of that program. But Microsoft plans to break out Designer into its own Microsoft 365 app that will be available both as a free app and as a premium app available to Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers. For now, Microsoft is limiting Designer to a free public web app, which it will use to gather feedback from public testing.
Microsoft also announced that it will be integrating Designer into Microsoft Edge to deliver "AI-powered design suggestions to visually enhance social media posts and other visual content without having to leave your browser window." And AI image synthesis will also come to Bing with Image Creator, where people will be able to type in a prompt and get a novel result, powered by OpenAI's DALL-E 2.
Since OpenAI debuted DALL-E 2 in April, AI image generation has been controversial with some artists because of how it works. Image synthesis models like DALL-E 2 use deep-learning neural networks to analyze millions or billions of images found publicly on the web without seeking consent from artists or copyright holders. These models, including DALL-E competitor Stable Diffusion, statistically link the content of those images with descriptive captions found on the web to associate them with words. The result is that these models can generate images based on text descriptions, and they can imitate the distinctive styles of specific human artists.
Further, the creators of these image synthesis models caution that they reflect social biases such as racism and sexism in their training data, and they are also capable of producing disturbing or illegal imagery if safeguards are not put in place. Microsoft says it is addressing these issues: "To help prevent DALL∙E 2 from delivering inappropriate results across the Designer app and Image Creator, we are working ourselves and with our partner OpenAI, who developed DALL-E 2, to take steps and will continue to evolve our approach as needed."
Mitigations include removing "the most explicit sexual and violent content" from the training dataset and adding filters to "limit generation of images that violate content policy." Regarding bias, Microsoft mentions applying "additional technology that helps deliver more diverse images to our results," which is likely the same as the random diverse prompt injections OpenAI introduced to DALL-E in July, which was met with some controversy itself. Perhaps because of these issues, Microsoft is taking a slow-release approach instead of completely opening the gates.
"We are taking a measured approach to roll out [Image Creator]," wrote Microsoft in a press release. "We will soon start with a limited preview for select geographies, which will allow us to gather feedback, apply learnings, and Boost the experience before expanding further."
With these moves from Microsoft, image synthesis tools are quickly becoming more mainstream. Canva added text-to-image generation capabilities in mid-September.
Microsoft has shared that Sony has "chosen to block" the release of its Xbox Game Pass subscription on PlayStation platforms. The ongoing acquisition of Activision Blizzard has led to a conflict between the two companies, as PlayStation argues that Call of Duty on Xbox Game Pass would prove anticompetitive. Microsoft, in a response offered through the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority, says that there's more to the situation than may seem.
As shared by Tom Warren on Twitter, Microsoft is responding to PlayStation's argument that an acquisition of the Call of Duty franchise would "tip" subscription services in Xbox's favor. In other words, offering Call of Duty games through Xbox Game Pass and not other subscription services would be an anti-competitive act that would irreparably harm Sony's own efforts. Microsoft has several arguments against Sony's point, many revolving around Sony's own approach to gaming subscription services.
RELATED: Microsoft Unhappy With Regulator Comments on Activision Blizzard Deal
To start, Microsoft implies that it tried to offer Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation. This would, assumedly, make clear that it is not trying to make Call of Duty exclusively available to any one hardware platform through its subscription purchase. If Sony is saying the exclusivity would harm its own consoles, Microsoft is saying it's willing to put Xbox Game Pass on them, and PlayStation gamers could access Call of Duty that way. Sony, however, "blocked" Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation.
Microsoft also argues that Sony is exaggerating its own investment in game subscription services. It says that Sony's own priority, which has proven successful given its leadership in the market, has been to "protect its revenues from sales of newly released games." Sony could, says Microsoft, increase the competitiveness of its PlayStation Plus subscription service by offering a variety of games it doesn't currently have. It chooses not to, showing Sony's prior lack of interest in competing in this market.
While Microsoft is trying to undercut Sony's argument from multiple angles, there's also a tone to it that really cuts to the heart of the issue. That issue is that Sony's priority here isn't fairness or whether Microsoft is becoming anti-competitive at all. It's that Sony thinks slowing down or preventing this acquisition is good for PlayStation.
It's unclear at this point whether or not PlayStation's efforts will have any significant consequences for Microsoft. The Activision Blizzard acquisition is being looked at closely both in the EU and the UK, but that should be expected for any $69 billion acquisition. Even without further hurdles placed in its way, though, Microsoft's acquisition will likely be wrapped up much later than it would have liked.
MORE: Microsoft’s Acquisition of Activision Blizzard Opens the Door for Big Crossovers
Microsoft and Mercedes-Benz announced a working partnership to connect the MO360 data platform to Microsoft's cloud service. The German automaker is looking to greatly boost its car manufacturing efficiency and thinks connecting its global car plants together can help a more seamless production pipeline.
VIEW GALLERY - 2 IMAGES
MO360 is a digital production ecosystem made up of multiple software applications that are able to share interfaces and standardized user interfaces. Many elements of MO360 were already in place at various factories, but will now be consolidated for a more holistic approach to utilizing digital solutions.
When implemented properly, the data platform can identify supply chain bottlenecks when information is collected through the entire production lifecycle - from logistics and supplies to the assembly line, and then finally when the vehicles hit the dealerships. This virtual simulation allows operations managers to test different processes before trying them on the shop floor.
In addition, there is more room for cross-functional collaboration among different teams inside of Mercedes - so production teams are able to hear feedback and ask for recommendations before possible problems snowball.
Here is what Joerg Burzer, member of the board of management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, production & supply chain management:
"This new partnership between Microsoft and Mercedes-Benz will make our global production network more intelligent, sustainable and resilient in an era of increased geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges. The ability to predict and prevent problems in production and logistics will become a key competitive advantage as we go all electric."
There is a growing connection between tech companies and automakers as vehicles undergo dramatic digital transformation. These opportunities expand beyond in-car solutions for drivers, and for the automaker to maximize their production capability. The ongoing chip shortage causing problems for major car manufacturers further motivated them to develop relationships with tech companies that may be able to help.
Mercedes introduced MO360 a couple of years back: