When billions of people formed the largest remote workforce in history, overnight, the cybersecurity industry learned much more than how to keep their data secure while streamlining access to that data. And when nation state threat actors intentionally launched malicious cyberattacks on the global ICT supply chain, we were more than reminded how our digital infrastructure is core to the operations of most organizations.

The lessons we have learned throughout 2020 and 2021 have demonstrated that the ability to respond to and bounce back from adversity in general, can impact the short-and long-term success of any organization. It can even dictate the leaders and laggards in any industry.

When we take into consideration that as security threats also become more daunting, with many organizations remaining in a remote work environment, global organizations must reach a state where their core operations and services are not disrupted by unexpected changes.

The key to success in surviving any unforeseen circumstances in the years to come, will be our cyber resiliency and the ability to sustain business operations during any major event, including a cyberattack. Consider the risk and response for a utility company, for example, an organization that relies on IoT data, or a manufacturer of medical supplies. While their approach may differ, the impact would be equally as devastating should their operational continuity be halted. In today’s digital world, preparing for cyber threats must be a strategic part of that plan just like any other form of continuity and disaster recovery.

This reliance on technology is only going to increase in the years ahead. As a result, our industry must continue to strengthen our software and hardware supply chains and modernize IT infrastructures.

Cybersecurity provides the underpinning to operationally resiliency as more organizations adapt to enabling secure remote work options, whether in the short or longer term. While my advice is often a three-pronged approach of turning on MFA – 100 percent of your employees, 100 percent of the time, having a mature patching program that includes containment and isolation of devices that cannot be patched, we must also understand that not every organization’s cybersecurity team may be as mature as another. 

Underpinning Microsoft’s security approach are solutions such as Azure Active Directory identity authentication, which runs across the Microsoft cloud platforms including Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365 and now Windows 365. Key capabilities include Microsoft 365 Defender endpoint protection, the Microsoft Defender for Identity cloud security solution, and the Azure Sentinel SIEM offering.

What differentiates our approach is organizing identity, security, and compliance—as well as device management—in an interdependent whole, extending protection to all data, devices, identities, platforms, and clouds.

This book is a collaboration between several Microsoft MVPs, including Thijs Lecomte, Peter Daalmans, Damian Scoles, and Michael Van Horenbeeck, all of whom are all passionate about Microsoft and cybersecurity. I encourage IT Pros to leverage this eBook as it is an incredible resource to help IT Pros understand all the capabilities available in Microsoft 365 Security.

The information that is shared is truly a step closer to our Microsoft mission to help empower every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Ann Johnson
Corporate Vice President, Security, Compliance, & Identity
Business Development