Microsoft's Enhanced Security Measures:

What Partners Need to Know and Do Now

1. Introduction

  • Date of Announcement: May 17, 2024
  • Implementation Date: July 2024

Microsoft has introduced significant updates and capabilities designed to enhance security and protect customer's tenants.

These updates are a part of Microsoft's ongoing Secure Future Initiative (SFI), aimed at addressing the growing scale and sophistication of cyberattacks. 

This blog post will cover key actions and updates that partners have to implement to ensure a secure environment.


2. The Secure Future Initiative (SFI)

Last November (11/2023), Microsoft launched the Secure Future Initiative (SFI) to unify efforts in combating cyber threats and advancing cybersecurity across both new products and legacy infrastructures.

As emphasized by Charlie Bell in his recent blog post, security has become Microsoft's top priority, surpassing all other features.


3. Mandatory Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

Starting in July 2024, Microsoft will require all Azure users to implement Multifactor Authentication (MFA). This step is crucial for enhancing account security and protecting against unauthorized access. For more details on MFA implementation, refer to Microsoft's dedicated blog post.


4. New Security Features and Capabilities

Available Now:

Security Workspace in Partner Center:

  • Since May 2024, the Security Workspace in Partner Center is accessible to Admin Agents. This centralized platform allows partners to evaluate their security posture and take necessary actions to improve it. The workspace simplifies the user experience by providing learning resources and serving as a single hub for all security-related matters.

Removal of Global Administrator Role:

  • Partners can now utilize the "Having Global Administrator" filter to identify Granular Delegated Admin Privileges (GDAPs) with the Global Administrator role. This feature enables partners to remove the Global Administrator role from active admin relationships, enhancing security.

Zero or No Access Assignments Warning:

  • The platform now displays a warning icon next to Admin relationships that have no access assignments, prompting partners to take action.

Coming Soon:

New Version of Security Alert API:

  • The Microsoft Graph Security Alerts API V1 will be fully released on July 31, 2024. This unified API gateway will replace the existing Azure fraud notification API, which will be deprecated by the end of 2024.
  • The beta version of this API will be available on May 31, 2024. Partners should prepare to transition to the new API to maintain seamless security alert management.
  • For detailed information on detecting and responding to security alerts, read more.


5. Expansion of the SFI Approach and Scope

To further enhance our security posture, Microsoft has evolved the SFI approach and scope, guided by three core security principles:

  • Secure by Design: Security is prioritized from the outset in designing any product or service.
  • Secure by Default: Security protections are enabled and enforced by default, requiring no additional effort from users.
  • Secure Operations: Security controls and monitoring are continuously improved to address current and future threats.

This approach is operationalized through six prioritized security pillars.

6. Six Prioritized Security Pillars
7. What Is Not Clear So Far
Despite the comprehensive approach and detailed actions outlined, there are several areas where further clarification is needed. Here are some of the key questions and concerns that have been raised by partners and users:

8. Conclusion

While Microsoft's commitment to security remains strong, we acknowledge that many questions and concerns persist regarding the implementation of these new measures.

We understand the impact these changes can have on different user groups and are committed to addressing every scenario meticulously.

At CloudCockpit, our goal is to ensure that all partners and customers can navigate these changes smoothly. We are actively working on providing comprehensive guidance and solutions to support our partners.

Rest assured, we are listening to your feedback and will continue to refine our approach to ensure a secure and seamless transition.