IT security is fundamental to any organisation. Microsoft has focused on corporate security requirements with SPE, but how does it compare with Enterprise Cloud Suite and what are its benefits?
Microsoft launched its new Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) Suite in October this year to replace the standard Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS). The suite comes in two versions, E3 and E5. So what is new in SPE and what are the fundamental differences between the two?
Secure Productive Enterprise brings together Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Windows 10 Enterprise all on a user-based licensing model.
With the Office 365 Productivity Suite, users can take advantage of productivity in the cloud and on mobile. Office 365 Pro Plus can be installed on five PCs and Macs and can be accessed on smartphone and tablet apps.
There are also rich collaboration and communication features, such as Exchange Online, with unlimited mailboxes and storage per user. Employees can also access SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business (with unlimited storage), Skype for Business Online and enterprise social networking service Yammer.
Office 365 Intelligence uses the cloud to add improvements in Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Sway and Maps which include auto content creation and suggestions for layout, based on agenda and theme. MyAnalytics (formerly Delve Analytics) provides new insights into an organisation’s teams, contacts and customer interactions. There are also personal analytics that measure and suggest improvements to an individual’s productivity.
Getting mobile and secure
Secure Productive Enterprise also features a new bundle of tools called Enterprise Mobility + Security. This provides organisations with advanced security powered by Azure and Office 365 Graph to help businesses with their transition to mobile and cloud. This builds on what was previously known as Enterprise Mobility Suite, but also incorporates Microsoft Azure Information Protection service to enable organisations to categorise, mark and protect sensitive data.
This also offers identity and access management with Azure Active directory. This protects access to applications and resources across the data centre and the cloud, allowing extra levels of validation such as multi-factor authentication and conditional access policies.
The main new additional features come in the premium E5 plan. Azure Active Directory Premium P2 includes all the features found in P1 (from the previous Enterprise Mobility Suite) and adds Azure Identity Protection and Azure Privileged Identity Management. The former is a cloud security service that uses state of the art machine learning to analyse 10TB of behavioural and contextual data every day to detect and prevent attacks. Azure AD Privileged Identity Management is a cloud-based privileged identity management solution
that increases the security of your Azure AD administrator accounts and improves your administrative compliance and auditing.
Azure Information Protection Premium P2 once again takes features in the previous Enterprise Mobility Suite and adds intelligent, automatic classification and encryption of files and emails shared inside and outside the organisation.
Lastly, Microsoft Cloud App Security is a new offering that uncovers all cloud apps in use in an organisation’s network – gaining visibility into “Shadow IT” – and evaluates the threat of that app.
Window into Windows 10 Enterprise
Windows 10 Enterprise not only offers standard enterprise features such as Edge and Cortana OneNote, but also sports software assurance benefits such as MPAM, AGPM and Dart. Organisations will be pleased to learn that E-learning vouchers and an extended 24/7 Hotfix Support are also thrown into the mix.
One area where E5 has the edge over E3 is the inclusion of its Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) into Windows 10 Enterprise. This cloud-based service can help organisations detect, investigate and respond to advanced attacks on their networks. The feature uses a combination of behavioural sensors, cloud-based security analytics and threat intelligence, as well as drawing intelligence from the Microsoft Security Graph.
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