Microsoft Buys Cloud Security Startup CloudKnox Security


The world’s predominantly online these days. From workspace to bank transfers, the web network has vast data and prominent tech players.

One such tech giant, Microsoft, is ramping up its online capabilities to the next level. To safeguard and secure their cloud framework, Microsoft has a new asset.

This asset is the Californian security firm – CloudKnox Security Inc. But, how will this software startup impact Microsoft products? As a consumer, will this announcement prove significant?

We explain the technical concepts and provide details on how this acquisition can impact customers and the tech world. So, be sure you stay put on this article right till the end.

What Is CloudKnox Security?

CloudKnox Security Inc. is a US cybersecurity company. It uses automated software to identify and remove risks on cloud platforms.

This startup has a cybersecurity team that focuses on protecting enterprises from human and non-human identities.

Amongst many complex technical services, CloudKnox Security:

  • Protects all types of enterprise user accounts.
  • Averts unauthorized access from external elements.
  • Normalizes human and machine cloud activities.
  • Alerts businesses of a potential security breach.

The above points explain CloudKnox Security’s role in a nutshell. In reality, this software company indulges in several online security activities.

CloudKnox Security Inc. Solutions

To get an overview of how CloudKnox will impact Microsoft services, you should know their products. These products and solutions provide a clear idea about CloudKnox Security’s capacity.

Cloud Permission Management Platform

This management platform uses a lifecycle framework to manage the sensitive data of an organization. It protects cloud storage from cybersecurity attacks in real-time.

This product from CloudKnox monitors Identity Access Management and responds to real-time anomalies.

Overall, this platform is ideal for:

  • Data management and protection
  • Monitoring resource changes
  • Data breach alerts
  • Accessing history of all identity activity

Privileged Access Management

The Privileged Access Management (PAM) grants permission to human or non-human identities for a limited time. This permission is to access vital data of the enterprise.

Thus, it minimizes risks and leaves the cloud less vulnerable. So, your company can be safe from internal as well as external data breaches.

In other words, PAM safeguards privilege accounts as they are most prone to cyber-attacks. Hence, PAM protects important accounts like:

  • Admin
  • Emergency
  • Domain admin
  • Local admin

Moreover, the Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management Platform is the solution that CloudKnox offers to implement PAM.

Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management

The Cloud Infrastructure Entitlement Management (CIEM) allows continuous monitoring of all activities. This solution can be highly useful to companies having several cloud infrastructures.

Importantly, the CIEM lifecycle framework reduces the workload on security teams. This solution enables instant identification and removal of risks from the cloud system.

Moreover, CIEM improves productivity and online safety of small, medium, and large scale companies.

CloudKnox Security Partners

Before Microsoft acquiring this cybersecurity startup, CloudKnox already had well-known partners like:

  • AWS
  • Google Cloud
  • VMware
  • Okta
  • Splunk
  • Ping identity

Thus, CloudKnox Security Inc. is a reputed startup indulging in cloud security management. Importantly, the clientele signifies the services of this software company.

The Microsoft Acquisition: What Does It Mean?

At this time, there is hardly any person unaware of Microsoft. This Washington-based technology giant is a household name for businesses as well as individuals.

Now, buying CloudKnox enables Microsoft to move a step ahead in the identity security domain. This decision will strengthen Microsoft’s cloud security, enabling full privileged access to clients.

Importantly, this news emphasizes Microsoft’s advancement towards customer security. Before acquiring CloudKnox, Microsoft purchases RiskIQ and ReFirm Labs for upgrading online safety.

What Can We Expect from This Acquisition?

If you work offline, this acquisition does not carry high significance. However, businesses, enterprise owners, companies, and remote teams can benefit from CloudKnox Security.

CloudKnox deals totally in permissions management and cloud data. It enables customers to use the Microsoft Azure Active Directory in:

  • Steady monitoring of activities
  • Enhanced visibility
  • Threat detection
  • Overall cloud account protection

In addition, CloudKnox automated software can alert an organization about any breach or unusual activity.

This dual partnership will enable the protection of customers using a multi-cloud and hybrid environment.

The Key Benefits of CloudKnox Security Acquisition

From Microsoft’s perspective, CloudKnox will potentially improvise their business in three key areas:

  • Automated policy enforcement
  • Machine learning-based anomaly detection
  • Integration with Microsoft products

Moreover, CloudKnox Security will mainly contribute to Privileged Access Management (PAM), identity governance, and entitlement management.

However, in 2021, CloudKnox Security is just one of Microsoft’s numerous investments. In the next section, you will find which companies became a part of Microsoft’s massive network.

Microsoft Acquisitions 2021

Since 1975, Microsoft is growing leaps and bounds. First, it was MS-DOS, followed later by Microsoft Windows.

However, with time, Microsoft indulged in smart mergers and acquisitions. Thus, companies and individuals could use software and products like:

  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Xbox
  • Servers
  • Intelligent Devices
  • Personal computers
  • Cloud storage software

All these products became a possibility due to the constant development and support of different companies. Thus, following the same pattern, Microsoft is working rigorously to make its cloud infrastructure reliable.

Here are the companies or startups that Microsoft acquired in the year 2021:

  • The Marsden Group
  • Nuance Communications
  • ReFirm Labs
  • AT&T Technology Network Cloud
  • RiskIQ
  • CloudKnox Security
  • Suplari

This list contains all the acquisitions until July 2021. Importantly, RiskIQ, ReFirm Labs, and CloudKnox indulge in the web security business.

CloudKnox Security and Microsoft Azure

As a Microsoft customer, commercial or personal, the CloudKnox acquisition will revolve highly around Microsoft Azure.

MS Azure was formerly known as Windows Azure. It is a cloud platform that provides services like:

  • Networking
  • Computing
  • Storage
  • Analytics

As Azure is compatible with most open source technologies, companies prefer this cloud platform.

MS Azure offers companies work in extensive domains like mobile, web, computing, integration, IoT, development, AI, migration, blockchain, etc.

So, the wide array of services make MS Azure a major platform. As more and more businesses shift online, the stakes of Azure rise significantly.

Thus, CloudKnox Security can protect Microsoft Azure to a greater extent.

CloudKnox Integration

Integrating the CloudKnox permissions management platform boosts (As per Microsoft):

  • Granular visibility
  • Automated remediation

Thus, workplaces with hybrid work environments will benefit the most in this scenario. However, CloudKnox Integration won’t be limited to Azure.

You can expect this technology to bolster other Microsoft products. At this time, apart from cloud computing, Microsoft aims at safeguarding:

  • Azure Defender
  • Microsoft 365 Defender
  • Azure Sentinel

Other CloudKnox Security Projects

You must be thinking – Why Microsoft purchased a six-year-old startup? Surely, they must be doing something significant.

CloudKnox Security Inc. has support to reputable platforms like:

  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Amazon Web Services

In addition, CloudKnox has integration with ServiceNow. In a nutshell, ServiceNow is another American cloud computing company. It came into existence in 2003.

Moreover, these integrations establish CloudKnox as one of the leading players in the CIEM industry. It might be a solid reason for Microsoft acquiring the software startup.

A Look at the Finances

Microsoft has always been one of the profitable stocks in the market. But, did purchasing CloudKnox Security create any impact?

For starters, acquiring cybersecurity firms mentioned in this article sent a clear message. The message was that Microsoft believes in safeguarding its cloud solutions.

With several online frauds and security breaches, companies have become skeptical about purchasing a cloud platform. However, with steps like Microsoft, businesses feel a sense of trust in the tech giant.

The Microsoft shares trade at a P/E ratio of 38.30. Microsoft shares are still amongst the top stocks with key support levels of $ 272 and $ 261.

At this time, the NASDAQ: MSFT value is $ 286.22. Therefore, you can bank on Microsoft stocks this year.

Overall, CloudKnox Security did not significantly change the valuation of Microsoft. So, we can conclude it’s a more technically conducive decision.

Will We See More Cloud Security Companies Soon?

The shift towards online storage and infrastructure makes cloud computing a demanding field. Due to companies adopting a hybrid model, we can witness the need for more cloud security firms.

In addition, domestic users can expect household cloud security solutions shortly. This effect will arise when most of the work, including the operating system, becomes cloud-based.

The rising dependency on cloud storage adds to more reliance on security partners. Major players like Microsoft, Google, Linux, etc., realize this fact.

Thus, we can witness an increase in the number of cloud security companies in the next decade. Also, more sophisticated security tech is right on the cards for enterprises.

Summing Up

The CloudKnox Security acquisition news is a step towards a more integrated digital network. With a massive customer base, Microsoft realizes this fact. Thus, at this time, the tech giant is on an investing spree.

This news will interest commercial customers as they have a high dependency on cloud platforms. However, domestic users using cloud services will benefit too. Moreover, safeguarding client data is the clear agenda of Microsoft right now.

Hopefully, with the inclusion of promising cloud security startups, Microsoft will be able to tackle cyber-crime issues efficiently.