Cybersecurity at Microsoft Ignite 2016

When fall rolls around this year you may want to be in Atlanta, GA for Microsoft's Ignite 2016, where cybersecurity will be front and center. The 2015 conference sold-out early, so if you haven't secured your conference passes yet you may be out of luck. This is especially important if you rely on Microsoft Office 365.

At the Microsoft Ignite conference, more than 90 percent of the presentations will touch on Microsoft Office 365 and more than 100 of the 528 sessions will cover cybersecurity. The format for Microsoft Ignite includes a few different types of sessions. These range from 75-minute sessions with 413 seats; to the shorter 45-minute session (86 of these are scheduled) and then a smaller number of partner-led sessions.

Why the focus on security?

Given the global instances of Microsoft Office 365, it should come as no surprise that cybercriminals and nation states are investing their own resources in determining exploits which will undermine the security implementation of the individual user as well as the  organization. Truly, who hasn't been exposed or known an entity that has been affected by the Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) unraveling in enterprise security networks in recent years? All need to be up-to-speed on is targeted threat protection. You are a target, or put more succinctly, you are a potential target. Furthermore, you have no say in whether you are deemed a viable target and are now within the adversary's bulls-eye. You do, however, control whether you will be a hard or soft target. There are seven presentations which touch on addressing APT, this content will help on the hardening side of the equation.

Phishing, Spoofing, and Whaling are everyday occurrences and regularly populate our email inboxes. The opportunity to learn how to configure your Microsoft exchange or Microsoft Office 365 instances are key for anyone involved in securing  email configurations. In addition, security awareness for you the cybersecurity professional and for the employee who simply wants to do their job and do it securely are additional areas of high interest.

Cybersecurity Awareness

Over 110 of the Microsoft Ignite sessions have a cybersecurity awareness component. As we all know, an educated workforce is not only an empowered workforce but increase the odds that the correct decision is made when faced with a choice which may contain a threat. Be it, clicking on the spurious link, to opening a dubious attachment which may contain macro malware. The Mimecast paper, "Office File Macro Threats Delivered by Email" provides specific guidance on how to mitigate the threat of the macro malware contained in an email attachment.

One cannot over emphasize the role of the educated employee. As drawn from the Mimecast paper, all employers must ensure their employees "...understand the risks presented to their inboxes, and how to handle unexpected email and attachments… Ensure they understand the hacker's tactics and how to recognize simple social engineering attacks."

Mimecast

Mimecast, a Microsoft Partner, will be present at Microsoft Ignite 2016.  Mimecast’s J.Peter Bruzzese, a cybersecurity thought leader will present 'Take a new look at cybersecurity and resiliency - ground to the cloud.' He is well known for his articulation on risk mitigation within the Microsoft Office 365 environment.

 

 

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