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4.5 min to readDigital Workplace

How the Microsoft security suite delivers a Zero Trust model

Mario GamaPractice Leader

The Zero Trust concept is industry-wide and isn’t specific to a particular security vendor or product. However, as Microsoft Office is the most widely used productivity tool in the world and organisations often align the rest of their technology stack to the Microsoft suite, we are going to look at the component Microsoft products that make up a Zero Trust framework.

The attack surface for any company is vast, which means tools are required to protect four key components - the users, the devices, the data and the network. Additional tools are needed to manage and monitor all of these. We’ve broken the Microsoft stack down into the different types and show how they support a Zero Trust security model.

Identity and access management (IAM)

These tools are the foundation of a Zero Trust policy as they define each user including what they’re entitled to and where their access is managed from. Microsoft Identity and Access Management tools include:

  • Microsoft Entra ID (Formerly Azure AD): This acts as the central identity and access management platform, controlling user access to various resources both on-premises and in the cloud. Azure AD ensures that only authenticated and authorised users can access resources, applying Conditional Access based on user, device, location, and risk level.
  • Entra ID Conditional Access: As mentioned above, this enforces access policies based on various factors like user identity, device health, location, and application access request.
  • Microsoft Defender for Identity: This provides advanced threat detection and identity protection capabilities. Together with Azure AD Application Proxy, Defender for Identity protects against identity-based threats and ensures secure, least privilege access to applications.

Device security

Unlike IAM tools that govern the user, endpoint management products protect the actual devices from threats, and include:

  • Microsoft Intune: This enables mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM) to enforce security policies on devices accessing organisational resources.
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint: This provides comprehensive endpoint protection against malware, viruses, and other threats on user devices. Endpoint Manager and Defender for Endpoint secure and monitor devices, ensuring they meet security standards before accessing corporate resources.

Data protection

Data is the most valuable asset in any organisation. These tools are designed to protect corporate data from breaches, internally or externally:

  • Microsoft Purview Information Protection: This classifies, labels, and encrypts data to safeguard sensitive information.
  • Microsoft Defender for CloudApps: This provides cloud application security posture management (CASB) to monitor and control access to cloud apps.

Network security

A network can be a point of vulnerability as it connects internal systems to external environments. These solutions provide network protection:

  • Azure Virtual Network (VNet): Creates isolated networks within Azure to segment your resources and control network traffic flow.
  • Azure Firewall and Virtual WAN: Provides a managed firewall service for centralised control and protection of your Azure resources. It secures your network boundaries, providing safe connectivity and segmenting the network to minimise lateral movement.

Monitoring and analytics

Monitoring and analytics tools track and flag potential security issues, automating otherwise labor-intensive monitoring tasks and providing rich insights into areas of vulnerability:

  • Microsoft Sentinel: Offers a cloud-native security information and event management (SIEM) solution for centralised logging, threat detection, and response across your environment. Microsoft Sentinel and Defender for Cloud Apps offer visibility into security events and potential threats across the environment, enabling quick detection and response to incidents.
  • Azure Monitor: Provides comprehensive monitoring and logging capabilities for Azure resources.
  • Microsoft Purview: is a unified data governance solution to help manage and govern your on-premises, multi-cloud, and software as a service (SaaS) data. It protects sensitive data wherever it's stored or shared, aligning with data-centric security models of Zero Trust.

There are several benefits

There are over 3,200 cybersecurity solutions on the market. It can be a challenge knowing what you need and which products to choose, without paying for duplicate feature sets. Our team can help you determine which security products you already have and how to best align your security stack. But for companies who choose a Microsoft solution, there are benefits:

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    Integrated platform

    The tight integration between various Microsoft security products simplifies management and creates a unified security posture. There isn’t overlap or gaps. You get the seamless protection you need without having to re-engineer or cobble together disparate tools.

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    Cloud-native advantage

    The Microsoft suite is designed and optimised for the cloud environment, offering scalability, flexibility and future-readiness.

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    Microsoft Copilot for Security provides a natural language, assistive copilot experience that helps support security professionals in end-to-end scenarios such as incident response, threat hunting, intelligence gathering, and posture management. This specific security Copilot has been designed with integration in mind, seamlessly working with products in the Microsoft Security portfolio like Microsoft Defender XDR, Microsoft Sentinel and Microsoft Intune.

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    Expertise and support

    Microsoft - and partners like SoftwareOne - offer extensive security expertise and support resources to ensure successful implementation and ongoing management.

Want to keep learning?

Learn how Microsoft Defender, Microsoft Sentinel and Microsoft Copilot for Security fits into a Zero Trust model.

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Envision the art of the possible

If you want to understand your current security score and how you can move towards a Zero Trust model, request a free one hour envision workshop with SoftwareOne

Envision the art of the possible

If you want to understand your current security score and how you can move towards a Zero Trust model, request a free one hour envision workshop with SoftwareOne



Mario Gama
Practice Leader