Thursday , 27 October 2016
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Microsoft Shines Spotlight on Security in Business-Market Pitch

In a heated competition for business’ technology dollars: Microsoft is doubling down on a simple pitch: its products are safe, and smart.

The Redmond company on Monday [kicked] off its annual Ignite conference for corporate information technology workers by introducing new security features into Office and Windows designed to safeguard and better make use of corporate data.

The conference typically attracts tens of thousands of IT buyers to see a parade of Microsoft executives and product demos. On Monday, that means speeches by Chief Executive Satya Nadella [pictured here] and Cloud and Enterprise engineering chief Scott Guthrie, among other events.

Security is a high profile issue for the audience here, a crowd eager to avoid the high-profile security breaches that plundered customer data from the likes of Target, the Home Depot, and, most recently, Yahoo.

Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s new corporate sales chief, struck that tone in a briefing for journalists and technology analysts Sunday night.

“We’re building security deeply into every product family that we have,” Althoff said.

A slate of product features [introduced] on Monday are designed to protect a company’s internet users from themselves. Firewalls and application security protocols can be rendered moot if a user clicks on a malicious link in an email or ventures outside the corporate sandbox with unapproved software.

One tool, called Windows Defender Application Guard and set for release to business editions of the Windows 10 operating system next year, walls off the Microsoft Edge browser from a computer’s other software and corporate network, keeping malware accessed on the web from spreading beyond the Web browser.

A similar feature of the web-based Office 365 productivity suite will show users a placeholder version of an email attachment while the software scans it for viruses and known malicious links.

Separate tools are designed to help IT workers identify and respond to security threats to…