Microsoft Seeks to Safeguard Business Data With Secure Islands Buy

The software giant's latest acquisition will complement its cloud-based technology for keeping sensitive data under wraps, Azure Rights Management Service.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft announced today that it is acquiring Secure Islands, an Israeli data security specialist, for an undisclosed amount. The deal is subject to regulatory approval, according to the companies.

IQProtector, Secure Islands' policy-based technology, "immunizes" corporate data by injecting protection within a file itself at the moment of creation, enabling businesses to classify, encrypt and manage sensitive information from the outset. Customers include Credit Suisse, HP, UBS and Vodafone.

"This acquisition accelerates our ability to help customers secure their business data no matter where it is stored—across on-premises systems, Microsoft cloud services like Azure and Office 365, third-party services, and any Windows, iOS or Android device," said Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise Marketing, in a Nov. 9 announcement.

"By joining Microsoft, we will be able to extend and expand our vision," remarked Aki Eldar, CEO of Secure Islands, in a brief blog post devoted to the deal. "Microsoft has been a long time partner and its leadership in enterprise IT, its resources and global reach will help us innovate and deliver new information protection capabilities to both our current and new customer base."

Microsoft plans to use Secure Islands' technology to bulk up Azure Rights Management Service's data protection capabilities, said Numoto. Suggesting the integration process will proceed smoothly, Numoto noted that the company's solutions are based on Microsoft's own work on rights management technologies.

Once complete, Microsoft expects "to provide a flexible architecture able to meet the most rigorous protection and compliance requirements" based on its cloud-based Azure Rights Management Service, Numoto stated. "These new capabilities, combined with the data classification in Windows and Office 365, will provide our customers with the industry's most comprehensive data protection solution."

For current Secure Islands customers, it's business as usual. "Secure Islands will continue to sell its existing solutions and support its customers," assured Numoto.

The move comes just two months after Microsoft announced it had acquired cloud security specialist Adallom, also with roots in Israel.

"This acquisition is the latest example of Microsoft's commitment to delivering innovative identity and security capabilities to our customers, across both on-premises and multiple clouds," said Numoto in a Sept. 9 statement. Adallom's platform addresses some of the data security challenges of multicloud environments by extending identity-based protection to enterprise application data and content stored on third-party clouds.

A year ago, Microsoft snapped up Aorato, another Israel-based security software company, to help businesses thwart attacks to their Active Directory (AD) user identity and management setups. Given its popularity among enterprises and its increasing reach into the cloud, AD makes a tempting target for cyber-bandits.

"We are making this acquisition to give customers a new level of protection against threats through better visibility into their identity infrastructure," wrote Numoto in a statement at the time. "With Aorato, we will accelerate our ability to give customers powerful identity and access solutions that span on-premises and the cloud, which is central to our overall hybrid cloud strategy."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...