What Microsoft's security war room means for hospitals

New strategy supports healthcare security improvements across the board
By Jack McCarthy
09:30 AM
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Microsoft has had a less-than-sterling reputation regarding security and, as such, healthcare executives have been cautious in using Microsoft programs they thought might be vulnerable.

CEO Satya Nadella is hoping to change that.

[See also: Microsoft, Johns Hopkins join forces for safer ICU device integration]

During a "State of Security" address at the Microsoft Cloud Forum on Tuesday, the software giant's chief outlined a new, tougher approach to fighting threats - loosely being dubbed a cybersecurity war room.

For key issues such as the protection of patient information, mobile device security and the advancement of Electronic Health Record standardization, Microsoft's initiative should be able to support improvements in healthcare security across the board.

Nadella outlined ways to improve security for foundational parts of the Microsoft universe - Windows, Azure and Office 365, as well as infrastructure, the personal mobile devices and services.

[See also: 3 data privacy features in Microsoft Office 2016]

"Customers are not going to use this technology if they can't trust it," Nadella said.

To that end, the company is also aiming to improve its security posture by moving to the cloud, adopting modern platforms and embracing comprehensive identity, security and management solutions. Nadella outlined Microsoft's advanced security strategy as follows:

Cyber defense operations center

A new state-of-the-art facility will bring together security response experts from across the company to help protect, detect and respond to threats in real-time. Staffed with teams 24x7, the center has direct access to thousands of security professionals, data analysts, engineers, developers, program managers and operations specialists throughout Microsoft to ensure rapid response and resolution to security threats.

Microsoft enterprise cybersecurity group

A dedicated group of worldwide security experts will deliver security solutions, expertise and services that empower organizations to modernize their IT platforms, securely move to the cloud and keep data safe. ECG offers security assessments, provides ongoing monitoring and threat detection and incident response capabilities.

New Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS)

The EMS will support mobile application management without the need to enroll the device. Provides features that help IT protect and manage corporate applications and data on any Windows, iOS and Android device.

Box and Adobe Support

The companies will offer new Microsoft Intune native apps on iOS and Android to help prevent accidental sharing of confidential corporate data to personal locations or cloud services.

SAP Fiori mobile apps, built by SAP customers, will also support Intune mobile app management.

Starting December 1, Customer Lockbox will offer customers full control over access to their data in Office 365 and Equivio Analytics for eDiscovery.

Microsoft is also pursuing a security strategy targeting intelligence, platform and partnerships, according to a blog post that followed the keynote: "During today's keynote," the blog said, "Satya Nadella showcased how innovations in Windows 10, Office 365, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) work in tandem with each other and with partner solutions from across the security ecosystem to deliver a holistic, agile, security platform."

[See also: Microsoft makes 'milestone' move to first-ever ISO cloud standard]