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Cloud securityMicrosoft has announced its plans for Israeli founded cloud security firm Adallom, the cloud security firm it bought for a reported $250 million.

Detail of the plans for its new acquisition was unveiled in a Microsoft blog by corporate VP for cloud and enterprise marketing Takeshi Numoto. Though reports of the acquisition emerged in July details of Microsoft’s cloud security strategy have only just been unveiled.

The frequency of advanced cybersecurity attacks has made security ‘top of mind’ among cloud users, according to Numoto. The acquisition of Adallom will expand Microsoft’s existing identity assets by acting as a cloud access security broker, allowing customer to see and control application access, Numoto explained. It will also protect critical company data stored across cloud services. Adallom helps secure and manage popular cloud applications including Salesforce, Box, Dropbox, ServiceNow, Ariba and Microsoft’s own Office 365.

Adallom will complement existing Microsoft offerings as part of Office 365 (serving in a monitoring capacity) and the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), which includes Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Analytics system. Microsoft had previously bought another cloud-security vendor, Aorato, with Israeli Defence Force ties, in 2014. Aorato was rebranded as Advanced Threat Analytics.

Adallom’s technology monitors the use of software-as-a-service applications and was created by founders 2012 by Assaf Rappaport, Ami Luttwak and Roy Reznik who met while serving in intelligence for the Israel Defense Forces.

The unveiling of Microsoft’s cloud defence plans coincides with an independent report, by Osterman Research, that 76 per cent of UK firms are concerned about the lack of security in the cloud, with consumer-grade cloud storage of corporate documents being named as the chief cause of unease.

The report found that employees preferred consumer-focused file sync and share (CFSS) solutions to enterprise-grade file sync and share (EFSS) solutions in the workplace, and often failed to consider the security risk posed by CFSS solutions.

Services that will be monitored by Microsoft’s new cloud security acquisition, such as Dropbox, which allow consumers to instantly sync files across all devices, but do not provide the same protection of information as EFSS, were identified in Osterman Research’s report as a particular cause for concern.

“Use of CFSS over EFSS significantly increases corporate risk and liability,” the Osterman Research report warned.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Adallom team into the Microsoft family,” said Numoto in his Microsoft blog, “cybercrime will persist in this mobile-first, cloud-first era, but at Microsoft we remain committed to helping our customers protect their data.”

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