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Microsoft takes on cloud security solutions: What it means for partners, rivals

by Nathan Hill-Haimes
Co-Founder, Amvia

Microsoft is starting to push its security credentials hard. With its single pane of glass approach, Microsoft is going to be extremely hard to ignore.

Microsoft’s push into security should really come as no great surprise. They have a history of sitting back and seeing where growth is coming from and then copying, catching up and overtaking. We’ve seen this as far back as their decimation of Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect in the 1990s, the demise of Netscape as a valid Internet browser, and now the battle between AWS and Azure, so moving into security was just a matter of time.

Microsoft’s push into the security marketplace will have some hearts beating, including in their partners' executive suites.

From an IT MSP’s perspective, as a Microsoft partner, moving from third-party security solutions to Microsoft-native security tools is going to make for a very attractive set-up. All licensing and management portals are in one place. Microsoft can offer simple and familiar processes that are present in all other cloud offerings in the same place as your standard Office productivity solutions. It’s hard to ignore.

Let's take Endpoint Security as an example. Microsoft is already collecting accolades, with Gartner naming them a Leader in the 2021 Endpoint Protection Platforms Magic Quadrant. Not bad for a vendor that hasn’t, until now at least, been considered a security specialist. Microsoft's pricing, whilst slightly north of other vendors, is not so out there as to be a deal breaker.

On top of that, the difference in pricing is getting ever narrower. Microsoft Defender for Office 365 (MDO) Plan 1 is the version that provides the zero-day threat detection and protections in both email and collaboration. There is very little to distinguish between MDO Plan 1 and BitDefender’s Email Protection add-on from a price per user perspective. Go to MDO Plan 2 to incorporate investigation and response and again there is not much to choose from a pure pricing perspective between MOD Plan 2 and Barracuda’s Email Security, Forensics & Incident Response licensing.

So which route should you take?

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About Nathan Hill-Haimes

Nathan is an Investor & Co-Founder at Amvia, a serial telecoms entrepreneur, and inbound marketing expert. From his home in coastal North Devon, Nath works with a portfolio of technology, property & sports investments through his fund Croyde Bay Ventures. When he’s not working, Nath can usually be found surfing, mountain biking, or walking the North Devon Coast with Wilf, his Working Cocker.