So, your organization has made the move to purchase a Microsoft E5 license – a significant step that brings up important considerations for your cybersecurity. But what does this purchase mean for your cybersecurity?

  1. Is this an optimal choice for bolstering your security measures? 
  2. How can you leverage it to optimize your security expenditures? 
  3. What does a Microsoft E5 license offer that you might already be paying for in your cybersecurity tech stack?   

It is essential to approach this from a security professional’s perspective, considering that the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) may not have been directly involved in this decision. Microsoft's services extend far beyond cybersecurity, and it's natural for your Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to be focused on broader benefits. They might be thinking, "This is a fantastic opportunity to secure a great deal and bundle in cybersecurity while reducing overall spending." Security might not have been a primary factor in the decision-making process at all.

In this exploration, we will go into the various dimensions of your Microsoft E5 license investment, examining its implications for your cybersecurity posture, as well as uncovering how to maximize its value in enhancing your security measures.



The Good News for CISOs

CISOs have faced increasing scrutiny for the escalating costs of security in recent years. However, the Microsoft E5 license brings a couple of rays of optimism, presenting a range of opportunities to address these challenges:

  • Integrated Security Strategy: First and foremost, Microsoft’s E5 license offers the prospect of adopting a more integrated security strategy, replacing the patchwork of disparate point solutions. This could be the catalyst needed to drive a cohesive security approach across the organization.
  • Lower Costs: Because E5 is able to replace other point solutions, the business can potentially reduce cybersecurity expenses without sacrificing coverage. 
  • Scalability: The E5 license can be tailored to scale up or down with organizational needs.
  • Enhanced Visibility: Comprehensive reporting tools coupled with multiple technologies under the same roof means more connected and integrated insights. This added insight enables better decision-making and more effective threat detection and response.
  • Covering the Entire Tool Stack: While no all-in-one security tool is best-of-breed in every single cybersecurity discipline, E5’s true strengths encompass critical areas such as identity, endpoint security, and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). This comprehensive coverage ensures a robust defense across your security tool stack.

The Microsoft E5 license not only addresses the pressing issue of security costs but also offers a comprehensive, scalable, and integrated approach that can significantly enhance your organization's cybersecurity posture. CISOs can now leverage this opportunity to optimize security while simultaneously streamlining expenses.



The Bad News for CISOs 

When it comes to leveraging the Microsoft security suite, one thing is certain: You get out of it what you put into it. 

  • E5 implementation requires deep expertise and a healthy investment of time and effort. It takes real expertise and serious planning to tune it to your organizational requirements… and even once you get it set up the right way, it’s not exactly a set-it-and-forget-it solution. This means dedicating resources, time, and expertise to configure, manage, and optimize the suite for your specific needs.
  • If an E5 migration was not on your security roadmap, it most certainly is now (and might be the ONLY thing on your roadmap if you plan to take this on in-house). If you had big plans for your security strategy this year, this next one might hurt a little: Attempting to implement this in-house within the current year will almost certainly derail your existing plans.
  • The value of the Microsoft security stack is not fully realized when you pick and choose the parts you want to use in a silo. It is essential to recognize that to justify the effort, migration, and costs associated with an E5 migration, you should be committed to going all-in. A piecemeal approach may not deliver the desired returns.

In essence, if you choose to embark on this path, it is essential to approach it as a strategic business decision. A successful implementation requires deep expertise, dedicated resources, and all stakeholders marching in the same direction. It is not just about adopting a new technology; it is about reshaping your security approach to align with your broader business objectives.



5 Steps You Should Consider to Maximize Your Microsoft e5 License Investment

So what's next? Let's break down the steps you should consider taking to make the most out of your Microsoft E5 license and optimize your security measures:


1. First, understand what you have + the purchase made: 

Begin by thoroughly understanding what is included in your Microsoft E5 license. It covers a range of security features, including Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, compliance measures, voice capabilities, and advanced data analytics. (Note: Your enterprise Microsoft E5 license is distinctly different from Office 365 E5.)


2. Then, evaluate your current security stack: 

Before you can make the call on whether to sunset various tools within your tech stack, you need to evaluate what you need from Microsoft to ensure you're not compromising your security coverage or team operation. Start by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. What are you utilizing today? 
  2. What are your must-have features? 
  3. How can we get the same output from the Microsoft version of it? Is it possible?

Take inventory of your existing security tools and identify your organization's "must-have" security requirements. Compare this list to the features provided by your Microsoft E5 license to identify any potential overlaps or gaps. 


3. Identify your opportunities to kill, keep, or combine your security tools and streamline your security spend:

Now, this is where it gets difficult, because as mentioned earlier, it really does not make sense to utilize Microsoft e5 unless you go all in from a security standpoint. Conversely, the e5 suite does not align with every security tech in the market. For example, Microsoft’s Data Loss Prevention (DLP) tool, Purview, can potentially replace Varonis effectively, but only IF you are Microsoft native.

To optimize your spend, you must consider sunsetting some of your current tools. But it is not as simple as it sounds. There are considerations before sunsetting – it is not just: Which tools CAN be replaced by Microsoft? But more: What tools SHOULD be replaced by the Microsoft e5 license? 


4. Define your security outcomes and roadmap for your Microsoft e5 license implementation: 

So, what outcomes are you wanting? Whether it is enhanced threat detection, streamlined compliance, improved incident response, or a comprehensive security strategy, your roadmap should be tailored to deliver these specific outcomes.

In developing the roadmap, determine what security improvements, enhancements, or compliance measures you aim to achieve with the implementation of the Microsoft E5 license. 

Keep in mind that transitioning from existing security contracts may take time, especially if contracts have not yet reached their end dates. This transition period should be factored into the roadmap to ensure a smooth and organized process. 

A key consideration in this roadmap is the understanding that relying solely on Microsoft representatives to guide the implementation may not be the best approach. Their perspective can be influenced by their product focus, and they may not provide the impartial viewpoint needed for your organization's unique requirements. 


5. Lastly, it might be best to seek an expert third-party to help – one that uses threat intelligence insights to amplify Microsoft Security Solutions: 

To truly make the most of your E5 license, it's crucial to involve a third-party expert, such as Avertium, who can…

  1. Offer unbiased advice and insights 
  2. Ensure that your roadmap aligns with your organization's security objectives and desired outcomes
  3. Have the right certifications:
    • Microsoft Security Operations Analyst
    • Azure Security Engineer Associates
    • 365 Security Administration
    • Microsoft Security Solutions Partner
  4. And incorporates specialized threat intelligence to enhance the capabilities of Microsoft Security Solutions beyond Microsoft Sentinel

So, how does Avertium Threat Intelligence amplify Microsoft Security Solutions beyond Microsoft Sentinel’s built-in capabilities?

  • Aggregation and Curation: Avertium utilizes publicly available threat intelligence in OpenCTI to aggregate and curate relevant threats into a single feed
  • Advanced Pattern Recognition: Utilizing SnapAttack, Avertium identifies advanced attack patterns and techniques, moving beyond mere identification of unique threat IDs.
  • MITRE ATT&CK® Framework Alignment: Avertium aligns the curated threats with the MITRE ATT&CK® framework, facilitating a structured understanding of threat tactics and techniques.
  • Integration with Sentinel Threat Intelligence Lab: Avertium integrates its threat intelligence into Microsoft Sentinel's dedicated Threat Intelligence lab environment.
  • TAXII Protocol Ingestion: Using the TAXII protocol, an industry standard for sharing threat intelligence, Sentinel ingests Avertium's threat intelligence.
  • Enhanced Alerting with MITRE ATT&CK®: Sentinel correlates Avertium's threat intelligence with the MITRE ATT&CK® framework, enabling alerts for malicious IPs, domains, file hashes, and other atomic indicators observed in the customer’s environment.
  • Contextualized Correlation: Threats and alerts flow from Sentinel to the Fusion Engine, where they are cross-referenced with OpenCTI for added contextual insights.

The outcome is a Microsoft Sentinel empowered by Avertium's inclusive blend of open, custom, and proprietary advanced threat intelligence. This fusion significantly bolsters the detection and response capabilities of your security ecosystem.




In summary, maximizing the value of your Microsoft E5 license requires a strategic and well-informed approach. It is not just about adopting new technology; it is about reshaping your security strategy, leveraging the capabilities of the Microsoft security suite, and aligning it with your organization's goals and security needs.

To schedule a consultation with Avertium, contact us today – or learn more about Avertium’s Solutions for Microsoft Security here.


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