New Microsoft Usage Workshops
Many Microsoft cloud customers have taken advantage of incentive programs like workshops and deployment funds. Microsoft’s thinking is that by reducing the fees normally charged by qualified partners, customers pay less for a smooth onboarding of new tools and processes.
To kickoff cybersecurity month, Microsoft is giving qualified customers a chance to optimize their security posture with funded programs for partners like eGroup | Enabling Technologies. This is timely, and not only to coincide with October’s drumbeat of security awareness. And timelier in the fact that defenders of identities, data, and threats of all kinds cannot afford to wait.
Most organizations own security tools as part of their M365 E5 licensing bundle that are not used. This is the equivalent of having a fire alarm new in its box when the house is smoldering. For instance, 68% of customers do not even have Conditional Access enabled. Microsoft and its partners are putting skin in the game to ensure customers understand what they own and how to plan for a deployment.
The “Usage Workshops” as they’re called, come in five categories, each addressing important components of a Zero Trust or compliance strategy.
The primary audience are CISO/CTO teams because there aren’t hands-on configurations, just education and whiteboard design planning. If you have Microsoft 365 E5 licensing and would like to learn more, each workshop is described below.
Secure Identities and Access
This workshop focuses on Azure AD Premium 2 capabilities, which include advanced Identity Protection, an AI-powered conditional access that on its own is worth the $3 increase from P1. But it also includes features that must be configured, and often aren’t, like Access Reviews and Entitlement Management, well suited for organizations who want to control and automate who gets access to what apps and services in the ecosystem. It also includes just-in-time admin login access with Privileged Identity Management. PIM is a critical part of the “limited privileges” aspect of Zero Trust, narrowing the time and breadth of admin access to the tenant.
Protect & Govern Sensitive Data
Data is the crown jewel of any organization and is a key tenet of Zero Trust. Discovering the existence of sensitive information in the tenant and setting up rules to protect it is the purpose of this workshop. The tooling covered in this workshop is Microsoft Purview Information Protection, which classifies then protects sensitive data from being saved, shared, or sent out of the tenant. This workshop assesses the current data inventory and develops a plan to tag and ultimately prevent accidental leakage or malicious exfiltration.
Secure Multi-cloud Environments
Microsoft doesn’t expect customers to go 100% into Azure for IaaS and PaaS. They do expect customers to secure all environments using consistent policy, posture management, and governance, For that, they’re offering a workshop focusing on Defender for Cloud. This workshop introduces capabilities to assess and continually monitor AWS, GCP, Azure, and on-premises VM farms, as well as containers, key vaults, and more. CISOs struggling to ensure compliance across hybrid and public clouds will find this workshop valuable.
Mitigate Compliance & Privacy Risks
Organizations are realizing that Microsoft Compliance Manager is better able to track compliance in Microsoft 365 than any other tool. And for those without a compliance tool at all, it’s far better than using spreadsheets or random audits. Compliance Manager allows you to choose from many industry templates (i.e. HIPAA, NIST, ISO) and tells you what you need to do in your tenant to comply with the regulatory requirements. This helps cruise through audits and gives time back to the internal resources who had the thankless job of auditing IT compliance.
Defend Against Threats with XDR & SIEM
Any E5 customer can use the same tools as a modern SOC to protect, detect, and (automatically) respond to threats against email, devices, servers, and cloud apps. Microsoft Defender is Microsoft’s XDR (Extended Detection and Response) suite, Microsoft Sentinel its SIEM (Security Information and Event Management). The many capabilities of Defender that need to be configured are explained, and Sentinel will be discussed as a means to aggregate logs from multiple sources and to orchestrate automated responses (SOAR). Since Sentinel is not a part of the M365 E5 this workshop identifies how to assess the value and budget for this cloud-first SIEM.
How eGroup | Enabling Technologies Fit In
Microsoft leaves detailed detailed demos, deployment planning, and implementation to partners like eGroup | Enabling Technologies. We’ve delivered 125+ such workshops in the past 16 months and hold “Advanced Specializations” from Microsoft in:
We’ll help qualifying customers understand how to best use these tools, and when appropriate, build a deployment plan to get the most out of Microsoft’s E5 licensing and Sentinel.
NOTE: If you don’t have Microsoft 365 E5 licensing, you may still be eligible for similar workshops. Just reach out to us to inquire!