Working at Connection—one of the top five Microsoft partners—and working my way through a second IT degree gives me a unique perspective on the tumultuous years we are going through. So much has changed in the world of information technology in the past few years, and security and compliance have become the top-of-mind concern for many of my customers.
A New World of Security and Compliance
There was a time when hacking into an organization’s infrastructure was done solely for bragging rights. Sadly, that is no longer the case. Hackers are now profiteers whose careers are rooted in deception, bypassing systems, and holding individuals and companies for ransom. They’re capable of deleting and destroying years of sensitive data critical to one’s existence and stopping business in its tracks. Often it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in remediation, reclamation, reputation management, upgrading frailties within an infrastructure, and paying out to get what was stolen.
It’s irresponsible for prospective business owners not to consider safeguarding their data, processes, and communication. Every business needs to be cognizant of exceeding baseline security measures in every effort to protect itself, its employees, and customers. And every business needs to be mindful of compliance needs for the sake of government requirements that exist to protect its employees and its consumers.
Now in 2021, there are compliance standards that need to be adhered to in just about every industry with a customer base, be that in the world of finance, healthcare, retail, or even manufacturing and industrial market segments. You must protect sensitive customer information like social security numbers, names, addresses, credit history, net worth, average spend, D&B info, etc.—as well as proprietary company information, such as R&D info, new design, competitive intelligence, information management…the list is endless. Additionally, there are compliance standards to follow, such as Sarbanes Oxley, HIPAA, FISMA, FERPA, PCI-DSS, NIST 800-171, and GLBA, to name a few.
The Largest Security Company No One Knows Exists
My go-to recommendations used to be baked-in functionality and security in a networking solution, such as firewalls, biometrics and MFA—hardware or software-based—limited access, VPN for remote users, encryption for email, and financial transactions. While these are all still strongly recommended, I have some new tools to share with my customers.
I lean heavily towards Microsoft tools not only because it’s my job to recommend Microsoft products, but also because Microsoft has the most extensive portfolio of modern security and compliance tools out there. Microsoft security and compliance tools are also highly integrated with each other. The joke that goes in Microsoft security circles is that Microsoft is the largest security company in the world that no one knows exists. The list of tools that I regularly recommend to customers includes Microsoft 365 at the Enterprise level coupled with an EMS and security add-on. I also recommend Azure AD for MFA, conditional access, DLP controls that are built-in for Microsoft 365, Azure Information Protection, 365 Defender for XDR, Azure Sentinel for SIEM, and more.
Sometimes You Need More Help than Security Tools
But sometimes knowledge about these products is not enough. So my job involves connecting you with the right teams in Connection’s Microsoft Services. We have an extensive team of Microsoft Certified Professionals at every level. We will take the time to educate, inform, assess, and strategize using tools provided by Microsoft to recommend and streamline solutions using our signature Microsoft Licensing Optimization process. Our consultants and architects can provide a comprehensive look at your environment and make recommendations to ensure you achieve long-term success adopting Microsoft security in your organization. Furthermore, if you lack expertise in deploying and optimizing new tools, we have many services under our Modern Work and Security Services framework. Give us a call, and we’d be happy to walk you through our Microsoft security services stack.