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Microsoft With Cloud Security Aorato And Active Directory Protection

Aorato And Active Directory Protection

Ending months of speculation and talks, Microsoft has finally acquired Israel-based cloud-security vendor Aorato, as part of its cloud-based enterprise identity services strategy.

Microsoft on Thursday confirmed that it has acquired Aorato, an Israel-based cloud security and Active Directory (AD) security specialist, which only exited from stealth earlier this year. Aorato's main focus is on enterprise services in the cloud and Active Directory deployments, using sophisticated machine learning technology to detect suspicious behavior. It offers an Directory Services Application Firewall (DAF) which analyzes Active Directory-related traffic to detect attacks. It's current management team includes several Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) and a former Microsoft employee.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TechCrunch reports that the Israeli cybersecurity startup cost Microsoft around $200m. Aorato is the latest and the fifth non-US based company Microsoft has acquired this year.

The acquisition comes after Aorato discovered several security vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Active Directory offering earlier this year. Takeshi Numoto, Corporate Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Marketing at Microsoft, confirmed the acquisition and explained the reason behind Microsoft’s decision to acquire Aorato. “We are making this acquisition to give customers a new level of protection against threats through better visibility into their identity infrastructure,” Numoto said on the Official Microsoft Blog Nov. 13.

Founded in 2011 by veterans of the Israel Defense Forces technology units, Aorato's core product is software that monitors access to enterprise IT systems. The company's software monitors access to and the behavior of a company's main information architecture (Active Directory Component) to detect any suspicious activity within the company's network. Aorato uses highly sophisticated machine learning technology to detect any suspicious or unauthorized activities on a company's network, it provides intelligent protection inside by learning what normal behavior is and taking action when it detect anomalies. It bases its knowledge on a continuously updated profile graph called Organizational Security Graph, a normal profile and continuously updated view of the various authorized users and machines tapping the company's Windows Server Active Directory (AD). Active Directory or AD is used by most enterprises as a repository for user access credenti als to critical business applications and systems.

Azure Is The Most Likely Candidate For Integration

Numoto said that Aorato’s technology “will complement similar capabilities that we have developed for Azure Active Directory, our cloud-based identity and access management solution.”

Before the acquisition, Aorato has raised $10 million, including a $10 million round led by VC firms Accel Partners and Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors. Its other investors included Trusteer's co-founders Mickey Boodaei and Rakesh Loonkar, and Glilot Capital Partners.

Microsoft isn't alone in beefing up its identity and access management capabilities through strategic acquisitions. Rivals are also busy doing their own. Earlier this year archrival Google acquired SlickLogin, an Israel-based identity and access management startup. And last year IT computing giant IBM acquired cybersecurity firm Trusteer.


*Image Courtesy of Buzzom

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