Microsoft acquires security startup CloudKnox

The tech giant continues to expand its security portfolio to secure its own cloud services

The Microsoft sign outside its headquarters

Microsoft has announced the acquisition CloudKnox, a security startup that helps businesses manage their cloud access credentials.

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed but it is another addition to Microsoft's burgeoning security portfolio.

CloudKnox, which was founded in California in 2015, uses automated software to spot and remove cases of unused permissions and virtual identities. It can also be used to show alerts for unusual activity or attempts to use in-active or compromised employee credentials. The firm's software is already compatible with Microsoft's Azure, as well as Google Cloud and AWS.

According to Microsoft's corporate vice president, Joy Chik, recent high-profile breaches have demonstrated just how quickly bad actors can infiltrate systems by exploiting "misappropriated privileged credentials", a problem that has been exacerbated by a surge in demand for remote access over the past year.

"While organisations are reaping the benefits of cloud adoption, they still struggle to assess, prevent, enforce and govern privileged access across hybrid and multi-cloud environments," Chik said in a blog post. "Even if they piece multiple siloed systems together, they still get an incomplete view of privileged access.

"Traditional Privileged Access Management and Identity Governance and Administration solutions are well suited for on-premises environments, however they fall short of providing the necessary end-to-end visibility for multi-cloud entitlements and permissions."

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The acquisition also highlights Microsoft's current focus on securing its cloud services. Last week, the firm announced the takeover of RiskIQ, a startup that provides customers with cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) protection to detect phishing attacks, fraud attempts, and malware infections. Again, however, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The tech giant's own security services have generated over $10 billion in revenue over the past 12 months, which is a 40% increase year-on-year, and one of its fastest-growing business segments.

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