Nov 16 2023

Microsoft Ignite 2023: How Rubrik and Microsoft Aim to Bolster Your Cyber Resilience

In a breakout session at Microsoft Ignite 2023, leaders at Rubrik and Microsoft talked about leveraging new tools and insights to bolster data security.

Preparing against cyberattacks requires constant vigilance and a proactive mindset. As threats evolve exponentially, businesses need to be diligent, seeking out new tools and strategies to stay one step ahead of threat actors. That was the subject of Rubrik and Microsoft’s breakout session on the first day of Microsoft Ignite 2023. The conference, held in Seattle Nov. 15-17, brought together developers and IT professionals to discuss new solutions, tech trends and the latest developments in the world of technology.

At the virtual session to discuss resilience were:

  • Eddie Wlazlowski, SaaS go-to-market and sales lead, North America, at Rubrik
  • Tyrone Grandison, CTO for app innovation, infrastructure and security at Microsoft
  • Martin Walter, vice president of product management, Rubrik

Wlazlowski set the stage for the importance of cyber resilience, citing a 2023 Rubrik Zero Labs report in which a sobering 96 percent of IT and security leaders said they are “concerned their organization will be unable to maintain business continuity if it experiences a cyberattack.” The same report found that 71 percent of security leaders are likely to pay a ransomware demand.

To better protect data, Wlazlowski said, “top notch” data management is the key. Microsoft’s Grandison broke down the company’s four categories of data protection.

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Microsoft’s Steps to Better Data Management

From Microsoft’s perspective, Grandison said, the first step in data management is understanding your data landscape and knowing where important data lives in your hybrid environment. The second step is data protection, where you must employ flexible strategies such as encryption and the use of access restrictions.

Data loss prevention is the third step, which seeks to prevent risky behavior and accidental oversharing. The fourth and final step, data governance, aims to automatically store and manage data in line with compliance standards, Grandison said.

Data Recovery with Rubrik 

By taking these four steps, companies can build better data protection — but, Wlazlowski added, when a threat actor does slip past defenses, it’s imperative that data in the environment is recoverable. In an age where remote work and mobility leads to more data and more complex data management, Wlazlowski made the case that backup is not cyber recovery, and legacy backup systems leave businesses vulnerable.

“Legacy backup systems can be complex, requiring significant management time from dedicated teams, as well as a high total cost of ownership. Lengthy backup and recovery times also compromise data availability,” he said. “It’s clear a new approach is needed for cyber resiliency, one that takes into account your cyber posture, your ability to proactively mitigate data risk, as well as your cyber recovery preparedness.”

Wlazlowski said modern solutions — such as bringing Rubrik insights into Sentinel, Microsoft’s security information and event management platform — can improve incident response speed with a bidirectional integration of data to close the gap between security and IT operations.

“Rubrik complements Microsoft’s perimeter security, cloud security and threat detection tools with comprehensive data security that safeguards data so it can always be available for recovery,” Wlazlowski said. “Any alerts, deletions and incidents generated directly from Rubrik are right within the Sentinel dashboard and invoke Rubrik threat hunting and automated recovery workflows.”

Learn More: Why the big picture of security starts with staff and data.

Leveraging AI to Improve Data Security

Wlazlowski and Grandison revealed that Rubrik partners will have access to the Microsoft Security Copilot Partner Program, where Microsoft will work with Rubrik to incorporate Rubrk’s data security intelligence and Microsoft’s AI security tool across Microsoft applications.

Generative AI is another tool Microsoft plans to leverage to help businesses improve data security, particularly cyber recovery. With many businesses up against cybersecurity skills shortages and too few staff to manually triage and manage events, Microsoft’s Martin Walter suggested that an AI tool such as Rubrik Ruby — Rubrik’s new generative AI-based security assistant — could augment those skill shortages and provide human operators with real-time recovery recommendations.

“A large part of strong cyber resilience … is the ability to rapidly recover from cyberattacks so that adversaries cannot hold your business hostage anymore,” Walter said.

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