Microsoft announces new business security services led by in-house experts

A shield with a keyhole on a radar system denoting cyber security
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Microsoft has announced today that it will launch three new security products for businesses, driven by its in-house team of security experts, to provide proactive threat hunting to organisations that cannot build their own fully-fledged security teams.

Citing an increasingly challenging security threat landscape and widening skills shortage in the industry, Microsoft said Microsoft Security Experts will allow businesses to benefit from human-led security attention without having to assemble a comprehensive security operations centre (SOC).

The three new products are called Microsoft Defender Experts for Hunting, Microsoft Defender Experts for XDR, and Microsoft Security Services for Enterprise - each offering varying degrees of threat hunting and proactive security monitoring for customers.

“Microsoft Security Experts is a line of managed security solutions that combine human-led services with expert-trained technology to help organisations achieve better security outcomes,” it said.

“Our vision is to deliver this new category of services across security, compliance, identity, management, and privacy. The first step on that journey is offering new and expanded services for security.”

Microsoft Defender Experts for Hunting

This product is best suited for businesses that already have an established SOC but want Microsoft’s experts to help them proactively hunt for security threats in their environments.

Experts will scan data from Microsoft Defender, endpoints, Office 365, cloud applications, and identity solutions before investigating potential issues and providing instructions on how to remediate the threat, along with contextual information to help improve overall security posture.

The product will be made generally available (GA) this summer with applications to join the preview program open now.

Microsoft Defender Experts for XDR

Details for this product are currently less clear since it will be entering its preview stage in late 2022.

Microsoft said the product is for organisations that, again, already have an established SOC but the detection and response from Microsoft experts will expand beyond endpoints. A mix of automation and human-led attention will be given to organisations looking for a managed extended detection and response (XDR) service while being able to “control and reduce costs, excess noise, and manual processes”.

Microsoft Security Services for Enterprise

The final product being announced today is reserved for the largest organisations, bringing together threat hunting, managed XDR, and security information and event management (SIEM) to protect businesses across all platforms and cloud environments.

The “comprehensive”, expert-led service is available today and sold through a custom statement of work.

A 2D graphic showing how each product falls under different, soon-to-be-merged branding

(Image credit: Microsoft)

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Microsoft Defender Experts for Hunting and Microsoft Defender Experts for XDR are products designed for businesses looking for expert assistance in their security operations, while ​​Microsoft Security Services for Enterprise is a product that sees Microsoft entirely manage security on behalf of the customer.

The announcement of the new services marks somewhat of an extension of Microsoft Industry Solutions, which already offers expert support for incident response or crisis scenarios, and for modernisation strategies for businesses looking to apply industry best practices, such as zero trust, to their organisation.

The two services under the Microsoft Industry Solutions umbrella, Microsoft Security Services for Modernisation and Microsoft Security Services for Incident Response, will soon be grouped under the new Microsoft Security Experts branding.

Connor Jones
News and Analysis Editor

Connor Jones has been at the forefront of global cyber security news coverage for the past few years, breaking developments on major stories such as LockBit’s ransomware attack on Royal Mail International, and many others. He has also made sporadic appearances on the ITPro Podcast discussing topics from home desk setups all the way to hacking systems using prosthetic limbs. He has a master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from the University of Sheffield, and has previously written for the likes of Red Bull Esports and UNILAD tech during his career that started in 2015.