New technologies and services enhance Microsoft’s unique approach to cybersecurity

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New technologies and services enhance Microsoft’s unique approach to cybersecurity

By Bret Arsenault as written on blogs.microsoft.com
Just over a year ago, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spelled out Microsoft’s unique approach to cybersecurity aimed at reducing an estimated $3 trillion dollars’ worth of potentially lost productivity and growth. The approach is based on a vision of individuals, companies, organizations and governments working together to address cybersecurity. It includes Microsoft’s commitment to provide a comprehensive security platform, build out an Intelligent Security Graph and partner broadly with the industry as part of a $1 billion annual investment in security. Today I’d like to share the progress we’ve made in our cybersecurity journey and highlight several new products and collaborations that further strengthen the security portfolio we offer our customers and bet our own business on every day.
Over the past year we’ve bolstered our security platform with new services like Microsoft Cloud App Security, Microsoft Defender and Office 365 Advanced Security Management. We’ve infused intelligence into security services, including Azure Security Center, Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics and Microsoft Defender. We’ve also forged tighter connections with the industry by adding FireEye Insight Threat Intelligence to Microsoft Defender and announcing collaborations across Enterprise Mobility + Security with both Lookout and Ping Identity.
As a result of this work, there is a growing list of customers who are able to invest more time in transforming their businesses. Whole Foods Market rolled out Azure Active Directory Premium to all 91,000 employees, enabling single sign-on for the company’s 30 SaaS applications and eliminating the need for multiple passwords and different accounts – all while achieving 32 percent savings on its support contract. Merck was able to improve collaboration among its 50,000 employees while protecting its wealth of sensitive information using a combination of Azure Active Directory Premium and Office deploying Windows 10 to its more than 80,000 associates who work across 400 locations in 78 countries365. MARS is enabling a strong layer of security and authentication for its associates while on their smartphones, tablets or PCs from the office, at home or on the road.
Today we are sharing several more security technologies and services developed as part of the unique approach to cybersecurity that Satya outlined a year ago.
Comprehensive security platform
Microsoft is building a security platform that looks holistically across all of the critical endpoints of today’s cloud-first, mobile-first world. Few security tools have the ability to work across platforms and complex environments from on-premises to cloud or mobile. Our platform integrates security products and features across Azure, Windows, Office 365, SQL Server and more to better protect identities, apps, data, devices and infrastructure. Today that platform is getting even better.
Actionable intelligence
Microsoft’s platform acts on the real-time intelligence from our network of global threat monitoring and insights. Every second Microsoft adds hundreds of GBs worth of telemetry to our Intelligent Security Graph. Customers authenticate with our services over 450 billion times every month, and we scan 200 billion emails for malware and phishing each month. Intelligence data enabled Microsoft to block an average of 200,000 exploit kit attempts per day over the last six months.
We are making a number of announcements today that give customers greater visibility into their own security configuration and threats as well as insights into potentially redundant and unnecessary data.
Read more about today’s Office news here.
Partnerships
Microsoft is fostering a vibrant ecosystem of partners across the industry who are committed to working together to combat security threats on behalf of customers worldwide. We are active within the security research community and collaborate with other security vendors to ensure that customers have the best solutions available. I’m happy to share a few more additions to the ecosystem today.
Microsoft and the industry are working hard to give people the trust and peace of mind they need to move their businesses forward in today’s cloud-based economy — helping customers navigate a rapidly evolving cyberthreat landscape. More than 3 billion customer data records were breached in high-profile attacks last year. DDoS attacks of 100 gigabits per second were rare just a few months ago. Today we’re seeing attacks of more than 600 gigabits per second.
Customers are looking for affordable solutions that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their security programs. The good news is that there have never been more or better security solutions to choose from. Whether you choose to work with Microsoft and our partners or not, I encourage everyone to revisit your security posture – both at home and at work – to make sure you’re taking full advantage of the security resources available to you.
You can hear more from Microsoft during the RSA Conference 2017 next week, when we’ll share additional details about our approach and our commitment to provide the platform, intelligence and partners that will help protect our customers now and into the future.

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NASA tech could trim air travel delays

NASA tech could trim air travel delays

NASA tech could trim air travel delays

By Derek Major as written on gsn.com
When severe storms hit, air travel delays are all but guaranteed. Last month alone, more than 10,000 flights were cancelled in a three-day period after a snowstorm dropped up to 30 inches on the East Coast from New York to Georgia. But NASA is working on a software-driven solution that could ease the pain for travellers, airlines and air traffic controllers alike.
NASA's Ames Research Center, the Federal Aviation Administration and industry developers are developing and testing a system known as Dynamic Weather Routes. According to NASA, the system updates and compares weather and air traffic data to find alternate routes when severe weather is likely to impact planes already in the air.
The DWR system collects and updates weather and air traffic information every 12 seconds and uses the data to find alternative routes and resolve air traffic conflicts. (The traditional method depends on a teleconference held every two hours.) DWR can account for frequent weather changes and plot new routes to avoid traffic or airspace that is designated for special use.
A 10-person team has been developing DWR since 2010, and research shows the software could save 10 minutes per flight. “The [current] static weather avoidance routes may not be well tailored to the weather of the day,” Kapil Sheth, a NASA aerospace research engineer, explained. “Large buffers compensate for forecast uncertainty of up to four hours ahead. When weather changes, it leaves an opportunity to save time and fuel.”
The Ames Research Center was awarded a patent for DWR late last year, and an industry partner has been field testing the prototype system for more than two years. Dave McNally, NASA’s principal investigator for DWR, said that one aerospace company already has licensed DWR, and the system is currently being used for advisories on flights.

NASA tech could trim air travel delays

NASA tech could trim air travel delays

NASA tech could trim air travel delays

By Derek Major as written on gsn.com
When severe storms hit, air travel delays are all but guaranteed. Last month alone, more than 10,000 flights were cancelled in a three-day period after a snowstorm dropped up to 30 inches on the East Coast from New York to Georgia. But NASA is working on a software-driven solution that could ease the pain for travellers, airlines and air traffic controllers alike.
NASA's Ames Research Center, the Federal Aviation Administration and industry developers are developing and testing a system known as Dynamic Weather Routes. According to NASA, the system updates and compares weather and air traffic data to find alternate routes when severe weather is likely to impact planes already in the air.
The DWR system collects and updates weather and air traffic information every 12 seconds and uses the data to find alternative routes and resolve air traffic conflicts. (The traditional method depends on a teleconference held every two hours.) DWR can account for frequent weather changes and plot new routes to avoid traffic or airspace that is designated for special use.
A 10-person team has been developing DWR since 2010, and research shows the software could save 10 minutes per flight. “The [current] static weather avoidance routes may not be well tailored to the weather of the day,” Kapil Sheth, a NASA aerospace research engineer, explained. “Large buffers compensate for forecast uncertainty of up to four hours ahead. When weather changes, it leaves an opportunity to save time and fuel.”
The Ames Research Center was awarded a patent for DWR late last year, and an industry partner has been field testing the prototype system for more than two years. Dave McNally, NASA’s principal investigator for DWR, said that one aerospace company already has licensed DWR, and the system is currently being used for advisories on flights.

Cloud.gov to give agencies a PaaS

cloudgovPaaS managed solution

Cloud.gov to give agencies a PaaS

By Amanda Ziadeh as written on Gcn.com
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Agencies will soon have a faster and easier way to develop, run, and manage web applications without the complexity and cost of building and maintaining infrastructure.
Cloud.gov, a joint project of the U.S. Digital Services and the General Services Administration’s 18F agile development shop, will be a platform-as-a-service option that gives agencies an already-stable infrastructure and lessen the burden on IT departments.
According to Noah Kunin, 18F's director of delivery architecture and infrastructure services, the goal with this project was to “bureaucracy hack” a way to the cloud.
When agencies build a new system or implement new technology, they must comply with a long checklist of federal regulations, acts and schedules. Kunin, who discussed Cloud.gov at the Code for America Summit on Oct. 1, told the audience he found he had to read through 4,006 pages of regulatory guidance.
The lengthy development process also affects planning. “In order to create rational plans around technology, we have to have some idea of what our cycle time for our innovations are,” Kunin said. A minor release around new technology, Kunin calculated, would take six to 14 months. However, difficulties along the way with the checklist of compliances could heavily prolong delivery and cause delays.
To fix this process before shipping the final product, Kunin and his team created a new Cloud.gov back-end service. Launching “very soon,” according to Kunin, the platform is a pre-approved PaaS for government, built as a true production cloud that gives agencies a ready-to-use infrastructure upon which to build.
When Cloud.Gov debuts, Kunin said, agencies will not have to wait for approvals or juggle requests when creating applications. In the meantime, users can access Cloud.18F.gov to learn more, receive updates and explore the service’s capabilities.
Other projects that USDS and 18F announced at the summit include an improved, scalable login system for HealthCare.gov, a revamped electronic healthcare information network for the Department of Veterans Affairs, a replacement for VA's outdated Veterans Appeals Control and Locator System, and a preview of the Federal Election Commission's efforts to better consolidate and share campaign finance data online.