What you need to know about data security, the cloud and Microsoft Dynamics

Data security is always a hot topic, especially when we’re confronted with stories about customer data breaches and the following dangers and dramas.

We believe the best way to keep your precious business data safe and secure is to host it on a cloud-based service.

Regarding enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and other business-critical software functions, Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers the best security.

A billion-dollar security budget

Think of it this way: how much could your company afford to spend on a state-of-the-art security system? Whatever that figure is, we doubt it’s a billion dollars – which is what Microsoft spends every year keeping files safe on Azure, its cloud computing platform.

So whatever cloud-based Microsoft services you use, you’ll benefit from Microsoft’s commitment to keeping its servers secure.

The starting point is ‘zero trust’. It’s a proactive risk-minimisation framework that assumes systems will be breached, so it verifies identity, endpoints and other resources to provide least-privileged access and minimise the attack surface. Key capabilities include:

  • Microsoft Sentinel: a security information and event management (SIEM) and security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) solution.
  • Microsoft Defender for Cloud: integrated security monitoring and a single, simple dashboard for alerts and actions.
  • Azure Resource Manager: to manage resources and deployments, including different environments (e.g. test, staging, production), security, audit and tagging.
  • Application Insights: an extensible Application Performance Management (APM) service to monitor live web apps and automatically detect performance anomalies.
  • Azure Monitor: offering data management capabilities including visualisation, query, routing, altering, auto scale and automation.
  • Azure Monitor Logs: to manage on-premises and third-party cloud infrastructure alongside Azure resources.
  • Azure Advisor: to optimise deployments by recommending solutions to improve performance, reliability and security while reducing overall costs.

That’s a solid foundation, but Microsoft goes further. It has two in-house teams, red and blue, who test attack and defence strategies. Findings are incorporated into new releases, meaning your protection is constantly updated. Microsoft also provides security features to protect and secure your:

  • Applications
  • Storage
  • Network
  • Compute

Microsoft Dynamics 365: more secure than ever

Dynamics takes advantage of these features and more. Its security suite has four key goals:

  • Minimum access: providing users with the minimum levels of access required to perform their roles.
  • Role-based security: users are categorised by roles and access granted or restricted.
  • Data sharing: users and teams can share data securely to complete projects and collaborate with other users and groups.
  • Access control: users can’t access records or data they don’t own that is inappropriate to their role.

Each of these goals is supported by a range of capabilities, which are simple to access and quick to implement.

Critically, though your business data may ‘live’ on Microsoft servers, ownership remains with you and your business. That means you’ll always know where it’s stored; it won’t be used for marketing without consent; you can demand its return and disposal; it will only be disclosed when legally required.

We wish we could say all these measures would keep your data perfectly safe. But we can’t – and on-one can. Any responsible business can ensure its data is kept as safe as possible.

That’s why we recommend Microsoft Dynamics 365; we use it ourselves and would be happy to discuss how it can help keep your business safe.

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