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By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft shares stats about its security business
by Usama Jawad
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently announced the company's earnings for the second quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, driven by Office, gaming, and the cloud. Another sector that reported major growth throughout the 2020 calendar year is its security business, which exceeded $10 billion in revenue, a 40% year-over-year (YoY) increase. Now, Microsoft has shared further statistics on this particular topic.
Microsoft CVP of Security, Compliance and Identity Vasu Jakkal emphasized that the revenue increase is due to the company's "Zero trust mindset", which it believes to be the future of cybersecurity. Jakkal claimed that what set Microsoft apart from other competitors is its approach of using AI and automation in an integrated manner. The executive stated that this was possible due to the large number of customers using Microsoft security mechanisms who share their security signals with the company every daya. Some statistics that she shared are:
400,000 customers across 120 countries use Microsoft security solutions 90 of the Fortune 100 use four or more security, compliance, identity, and management solutions offered by Microsoft 8 trillion security signals absorbed by Microsoft solutions and security mechanisms 24 hours 2.5 billion daily cloud-based detections blocked almost 6 billion threats on endpoints in 2020 More than 30 billion authentications are processed across Azure AD's 425 million users daily More than 30 billion email threats were blocked by Defender for Office 365 in 2020 Compliance solutions process more than 5 billion document classifications each month Azure Sentinel analyzes over 4 petabytes of data each month from Azure, AWS, on-prem, and more Jakkal went on to say that the security Microsoft offers to customers is possible because it invests in managing seamless solutions across all major cloud and on-prem platforms. Furthermore, it offers customers secure solutions that are easy-to-use but handle complex attack vectors. Lastly, the company has a rich ecosystem which includes partnerships with various security organizations and researchers.
Moving forward, Microsoft aims to develop its security ecosystem further, and share knowledge that will enable everyone to bolster their security defenses against potential threats that may arise in the future.
By Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft announces general availability of Application Guard for Office
by Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft unveiled a couple of security features for Microsoft 365 early in 2020, which included Application Guard. Today, the company announced that Application Guard for Office has hit general availability.
The feature basically puts documents from untrusted sources in a container before opening them in order to ward off malicious threats. Microsoft also noted that it analyzes every malicious attack contained by Application Guard to bolster its threat intelligence. Your files are also protected from kernel-based attacks since it uses Hyper-V-based containers.
Unlike Protected View which opens documents in read-only mode, Application Guard opens files in a virtualized sandbox where you can still edit and print documents in a limited capacity without leaving the container. These files include those coming from untrusted sites, files stored in potentially unsafe folders or network, and documents blocked by File Block.
That said, you can still choose to disable protection for a specific file if necessary, provided you're confident that it's safe. Prior to opening that file, it will be scanned with the Safe Documents feature if it's enabled. In addition to documents, emails are protected as well with combined security from Application Guard and Microsoft Defender for Office 365.
The new feature is turned off by default and administrators will need to set the right policy for each user in an organization. It's available to customers on Current Channel and Monthly Enterprise Channel while a rollout in Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel is scheduled later this year.
by Razvan Serea
WinLock ensures that only authorized people can access sensitive information on your computer. With WinLock you can control how long others can use your computer. It runs from the system tray and requires a password to gain access to the available settings. It loads automatically with Windows and allows you to add an optional startup message, provide audio notification, and set the time limit. Once that limit is reached, Windows is summarily shut down. You can toggle the timer on and off from the tray. When enabled, there is no way around it without the proper password.
WinLock also allows to disable Windows hot keys (such as Alt-Ctrl-Del, Alt-Tab, Ctrl-Esc, etc.), lock Windows desktop, customize Start menu, hide Start button and Switch bar, and much more...
Block Windows and Lock Files features allow to block virtually any application or any part of it (window, popup message, dialog box), Explorer Windows (My Computer, Recycle Bin etc.), and lock selected files. Restricted sites feature filters Internet content and prohibits access to questionable websites.
WinLock is available in two editions: Standard and Professional. WinLock Professional offers all features of the WinLock, plus several advanced security capabilities of interest to the professional users. The advanced features of the Professional edition are:
Support for multi-user environment Internet Explorer restrictions Google Chrome restrictions Search through website for prohibited keywords Guest password USB key authentication Webcam snapshots Flexible removable drive restrictions WinLock 8.46 changelog:
Disable pinned apps. Apply settings option. Disable right-click in Start menu. Disble F10 key. Microsoft Edge restrictions. Disable Timeline. Full support for unicode websites. Support for Edge 88 and Tor 10. Download: WinLock 8.46 | WinLock Pro 8.46 | ~10.0 MB (Shareware)
Links: WinLock Home Page | WinLock Pro Screenshot
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By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft Edge will now let you know if your password is compromised
by Usama Jawad
Yesterday, Microsoft announced a bunch of new features coming to its Edge browser, including sidebar search, history sync, and more. Another nifty capability coming to the browser is Password Monitor, which alerts you if you are using unsafe credentials. The service began rolling out to Insiders back in June 2020 and is now being made available to the general public in Edge 88. Microsoft has detailed the feature in a dedicated blog post.
Password Monitor is the outcome of collaboration between the Edge product team and a former Microsoft Research incubation group called the "Cryptography and Privacy Research Group". The underlying technology is based on homomorphic encryption and is built on top of the Microsoft SEAL homomorphic encryption library.
Simply stated, Password Monitor contacts a server periodically and verifies that the credentials you have saved in Edge are not present in a database of breached credentials. If they are, the user is immediately alerted and asked to change them. It is important to note that neither Microsoft nor any other third-party can see your credentials, with the technology also secure against man-in-the-middle attacks so a malicious actor cannot hijack your password during transit between your browser and the server.
Microsoft has also modified its SEAL library to ensure multi-platform support on various architectures including ARM, x86, and Mac, and it is also compatible with low-end devices. The firm has described the principles of homomorphic encryption in its blog post as well for our more cybersecurity-savvy readers. Microsoft has emphasized that the process consumes minimal network bandwidth, optimizes CPU utilization, and that the Password Monitor service is capable of handling a "large number" of client requests.
Password Monitor will be made available to Edge users on a rolling basis so it will not be immediately visible to everyone. You can head over to the dedicated supported page to find out how to enable it.
By News Staff
Cybersecurity: The Beginner's Guide ($23.99 Value) free offer ends today
by Steven Parker
Claim your complimentary eBook (worth $23.99) for free, before the offer expires on 01/19.
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This book put together all the possible information with regards to cybersecurity, why you should choose it, the need for cyber security and how can you be part of it and fill the cybersecurity talent gap bit by bit. Starting with the essential understanding of security and its needs, we will move to security domain changes and how artificial intelligence and machine learning are helping to secure systems. Later, this book will walk you through all the skills and tools that everyone who wants to work as security personal need to be aware of. Then, this book will teach readers how to think like an attacker and explore some advanced security methodologies. Lastly, this book will deep dive into how to build practice labs, explore real-world use cases and get acquainted with various cybersecurity certifications.
By the end of this book, readers will be well-versed with the security domain and will be capable of making the right choices in the cybersecurity field.
This free offer expires on Jan 19.
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