Here at Microsoft we are focused on nothing less than changing the world with technology.  Nowhere is this goal more important than in the public sector where organizations exist to serve the greater good. The Government of Canada for example has recognized that public cloud is a key enabler to digital transformation and has outlined the way forward in their Cloud Adoption Strategy. However, governments and healthcare at all levels in our country manage a lot of sensitive and personal information about Canadians and about the programs that keep our economy ticking along. This information is under attack today by cybercriminals.

The average organization today faces approximately 106 targeted cyberattacks a year. I think we all understand that risk can never be driven to zero with any type of security. What is probably most concerning is the fact that when a breach happens it takes months before it is detected and one third of the time, it’s not the security team who detects something is wrong.

Developing an effective way to deal with the persistent adversary or sophisticated cybercriminal can be a daunting challenge for any organization, whether in the public or private sector. Many organizations find it difficult to keep pace with the rapidly changing cyber threat landscape. In order to meet and beat this challenge, highly specialized expertise is required.

You are probably not aware that Microsoft provides a variety of cybersecurity consulting services to our customers worldwide. Through Microsoft Premier Support, our Security Incident Response and Recovery teams are being engaged by Canadian organizations on an increasing basis. While we are always ready to help during an emergency, we would much rather engage in a proactive manner with customers before the alarm bells are ringing.

That’s why we created the Microsoft Persistent Adversary Detection Service (PADS). This is the same team who responds to cybersecurity incident response situations worldwide. The PADS team will provide proactive intrusion analysis and strategic guidance needed in order to properly harden your environments against advanced and persistent attacks.

What makes the Microsoft PADS team different than a traditional penetration testing service ? First, you are getting a team from Microsoft who knows Windows environments and networking better than anyone. Second, (and probably most important is) the PADS team is able to correlate what they see in your environment with Microsoft’s global threat intelligence that is used to protect millions of enterprise customers worldwide using our hyperscale cloud services.  We see attacks happening all over the world first.  So we have an unparalleled body of worldwide threat intelligence that enables us to discover of threats, unauthorized “guests”, and breaches that traditional intrusion detection and anti-malware systems would miss.

And by the way, the best way to protect against cyber threats is to move to the cloud.   That’s why organizations like TD Bank, Manulife, Air Canada, and the UK Ministry of Defence have moved to Office 365 and Azure to better protection their organizations and data.

If you would like to learn more about PADS or how you can assess your organization’s resilience against cyber attacks, reach out to your Microsoft Account Manager or contact me.