Microsoft Buys Israeli Security Startup

The purchase of an Israel-based startup by Microsoft is aimed at enhancing Active DirectoryEUs security with machine learning technology. Microsoft announced the purchase of Aorato on its blog Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal reported that the purchase price was around $200 million.

The Aorato technology provides intelligent security protection services within company networks by learning what normal network behavior is and taking action when it detects something out of the ordinary, according to Microsoft. It can do such things as monitor suspicious usage of employee credentials, such as multiple guesses at a password.

Some observers noted that an acquisition in the area of enterprise security might mean Microsoft is looking to ensure it stays relevant with what businesses currently need. Security is an important area for research and investment, especially with the increased use of cloud services, and BYOD (bring-your-own-device) apps that tend to be more difficult for IT managers to control.

Powerful Identity

Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of Cloud and Enterprise Marketing at Microsoft, said in a blog post that having the security technology from Aorato will give Microsoft customers EUa new level of protection against threats through better visibility into their identity infrastructures.

"With Aorato we will accelerate our ability to give customers powerful identity and access solutions that span on-premises and the cloud," he said.

Aorato bases its knowledge of a networkEUs behavior patterns on a continuously updated security graph that maps every user accessing the Windows Server Active Directory, the Microsoft server used by businesses as a repository for user access credentials to applications and systems. The Aorato technology will work alongside similar functionality that Microsoft already uses in its cloud Azure Active Directory service.

Active Directory is used by enterprises to store user identities and administer access to critical business applications and systems....

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