Digital security is top of mind for anyone on the Internet, and for good reason. Not only are hackers more sophisticated, better organized, and better funded than ever, working professionals are more mobile and more likely to use their personal devices to do work, which only increases the need for security everywhere. This can present challenges for customers and opportunities for partners.
Inspired by Brad Smith’s amazing keynote at Worldwide Partner Conference in July, I started thinking about what security means for your customers. They’re looking for security solutions, and even more, they’re looking for solution providers they can trust. They’re looking for transparency and control over access to their content in the cloud.
With Satya speaking on the subject on Tuesday, and Brad and others talking about it through their blogs, it’s clear that at Microsoft, security is not just a priority, it’s an imperative. To help you provide your customers the best possible service, we’ve introduced new capabilities that will give your customers greater control of their data.

The customer pain points

Malware protection. Customers’ employees are on so many devices – including personal ones – making it difficult for IT teams to lock down every device against malware. Viruses and spyware shift, and new threats come online all the time: staying ahead of hackers while not disrupting productivity, collaboration, and access can be a real challenge.
Corporate identity and data access. Organizations want to ensure that only the right people are accessing sensitive information. They need to be able to remove privileges from employees who leave and be confident their data is secure even if a laptop is lost or stolen.
Securing remote connections. These days, work gets done everywhere – in the field, at home, in coffee shops. With so much sensitive information moving between devices, users, and systems, often over unsecured networks, protecting data at rest and in transit is critical.

Gearing up for the conversation

Helping customers understand the risks is key to helping them understand how the solutions you provide can counter those risks. We want to help you be ready for these incredibly important conversations.
Security, like just about everything in business, doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution, but you can help them assess their vulnerabilities and tailor a solution that works. Visit the “Safeguard your Business” section of ModernBiz for resources to help you have that conversation.

The partner opportunity

Once you understand your customers’ needs, you’ll want to understand the solutions you can implement for them for the best protection and best peace of mind.
Protect against malware. Office 365 and Azure have the most advanced anti-malware protection in the industry, and updates are automatic. Add to that the new Windows 10 security features, and you have some of the best, most-comprehensive protections in the industry:
    • Windows Defender and Windows Firewall have been updated in Windows 10 and now provide your customers with even better scanning and isolation of unwanted software. Learn more about the robust security in Windows 10 from the ModernBiz “Safeguard Your Biz” deck.
    • Device Guard works in tandem with Trusted Boot to ensure only trusted software can be downloaded.
    • Credential Guard allows organizations to safeguard credentials in a hardware-based environment separate from the running operating system.
  • Additionally, the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise division have been working to deliver security solutions, including providing expanded capabilities for Microsoft Intune to manage the apps and devices your customers’ employees depend on. Increased visibility via the Azure Security Center allows advanced threat detection for a quicker, more targeted response.
Establish appropriate identity and access.
    • Microsoft Passport and Windows Hello are part of the multi-factor authentication in Windows 10 and part of our mission to find safer, more convenient alternatives to passwords. Microsoft Passport’s flexible, two-factor ID uses a device plus a biometric or PIN. Windows Hello uses biometrics like iris scan or fingerprint to unlock devices.
    • Coming soon, enterprise data protection will protect corporate data by separating and containing corporate and consumer data. Today, we’re testing it with a number of enterprise customers, but enterprise data protection will be available to Windows Insiders soon.
  • As more apps move to the cloud, it becomes increasingly critical to protect company data. A recent acquisition, Adallom, is a cloud access security broker that helps you maintain visibility and control over application access.
Secure remote connections. Coffee shops are great for espresso. They’re not so great for providing secure Internet access. But often employees need to connect to data and business apps while away from work, and their organizations need to figure out how to allow it while still protecting their information and systems. Now, Windows 10 has enhanced VPN solutions and organizations can balance security concerns with remote productivity.
Add to this the Always Encrypted technology of SQL 2016, protecting data at rest and in motion, and you have the full-circle security solution your customers are looking for.

Seize the opportunity

Ponemon Institute recently released a survey of 350 companies in 11 countries, all of whom had been breached in the past year. They found that, when taking into account loss of business, increased customer turnover, new customer acquisition costs, and decrease in brand reputation, the average cost of a data breach was USD $3.79M.*
Clearly, it’s never been more urgent to protect ourselves against security threats, and customers are, understandably, demanding solutions. Strengthen your position as their trusted advisor by providing those solutions and helping them overcome the challenges.
*CSO Online, May 27, 2015: “Ponemon: Data breach costs now average $154 per record”