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Microsoft offering new tools to better secure MCUs, IoT devices

Security is one of the biggest concerns about the growing Internet of Things markets, and Microsoft is aiming to address those worries with newly announced intelligent security tools designed to help organizations more easily secure their data and networks.

Microsoft said it’s leveraging the cloud to address emerging threats against a new class of connected devices, those relying on microcontroller units (MCUs). MCU-powered devices are already the most populous area of computing, the company said, with about 9 billion new devices every year.

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An attendee holds a yellow Nokia 8110 4G smartphone, manufactured by HMD Global Oy, during a launch event ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. At the wireless industry’s biggest conference, more than 100,000 people are set to see the latest smartphones, artificial intelligence devices and autonomous drones exhibited by roughly 2,300 companies. Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

Those threats are found in everything from toys and household appliances to industrial equipment, and attackers are starting to target them, Microsoft said.

To secure these connected devices the company is providing Azure Sphere, a platform for creating highly secured, connected MCU devices. The offering is a cloud security service that guards every Azure Sphere device.

“As last year’s devastating cyber attacks demonstrated, security threats are evolving and becoming even more serious,” Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, said in a statement. “The tech sector’s innovations need to accelerate to outpace security threats.”

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Microsoft also introduced several new intelligent security features for its Microsoft 365 commercial cloud offering that are designed to help IT and security professionals simplify how they manage security across their enterprises.

This includes advanced tools that make it easier to prevent threats before they happen; and automated threat detection and remediation to free up security operations teams.

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