A Beginner’s Guide to Microsoft Defender for Cloud

Updated: April 30th, 2024

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What is Microsoft Defender for Cloud and What Could It Mean for Your Business?

With over 90% of major businesses utilising cloud technology since the turn of the decade, according to data featured by TechJury, it’s clear that businesses should be investing in the most reliable cloud security measures available. But with a host of security options on the table, each with its own benefits, it can be difficult for businesses to choose the right cloud security tool for their specific needs.

Microsoft Defender for Cloud has emerged as one of the most in-depth and versatile cloud security options, allowing for the protection of multiple cloud environments, making it easier than ever for business security teams to defend their cloud environments and data for the benefit of themselves and their customers. But what exactly is Microsoft Defender for Cloud, why is it so impressive, and is the tool the right choice for your desired security posture? Read on to find out more.

What is Microsoft Defender for Cloud?

Formerly known as Azure Defender, because of its accessibility through the Microsoft Azure platform, Microsoft Defender for Cloud is a comprehensive cloud security solution with advanced threat protection capabilities that: 

  • Monitors a business’s cloud environments – as well as on-premise data storage, hybrid environments and virtual machines 
  • Alerts against potential threats. 
  • Takes action in the event of an attack to secure all cloud environments and company data.

What makes Microsoft Defender for Cloud so appealing compared to similar products is how it can be used to protect non-Microsoft branded cloud environments, including AWS, despite being a Microsoft product and accessed through the Microsoft Azure platform.

This means businesses that operate under a multi-cloud setup, as many businesses do, can invest in just a single, all-encompassing cloud security system, rather than needing to spend on multiple products. Think of it as a home security system that covers all angles of your house, not just the front door. This saves both time and money for businesses and relieves them of the pressures of managing and updating many cloud security applications, simplifying security.

How Does Microsoft Defender for Cloud Work?

Utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, Defender for Cloud offers advanced threat protection, actively scanning cloud environments and network activity for anomalies, delivering security alerts to IT administrators when a threat is detected and automatically neutralising it, mostly without the need for human intervention. 

These automated processes collect information from such anomalies and attacks and “learn” from them, enabling them to improve their own security standards as the methods employed by cybercriminals evolve, offering the highest-end defence and security recommendations possible.

But that isn’t to say staff aren’t able to proactively use Defender to monitor cloud environments themselves. The application features an easy-to-follow console that IT staff can use to gain unified visibility over all of a company’s cloud environments and security event management, rather than needing to switch from app to app.

Like several cyber security tools, Defender for Cloud features a secure score system, making a business’s security status easy to comprehend, even for those not familiar with the tool. Taking the form of percentages out of 100, Secure Score lets you see how effective – or ineffective – the security of each individual cloud environment is (as well as an overall score) and offers in-depth security information and essential improvements to fend off cyber threats.

What are the features and benefits of Microsoft Defender for Cloud?

Ideal for Multi-Cloud Setups

Since the explosion of cloud computing, it’s become clear that opting for multiple cloud services at the same time can offer businesses fantastic benefits, including better disaster recovery options and vendor-specific services. But the more cloud services and environments a business onboards, the more difficult cloud security management can become. To make matters worse, not all cloud security setups are designed to uphold the security of many cloud environments at once and can be left lacking.

However, Microsoft Defender for Cloud is designed to offer the most stringent security across various cloud environments at once, ensuring your cloud systems always have the defence they need to repel oncoming attacks and keep data secure. Opting for a single, robust cloud security service instead of multiple security services also helps businesses cut costs and simplifies monthly expenditures.


When employees are able to use their digital tools easily with no technical barriers or difficulty understanding layouts, they’re far more likely to perform their roles effectively. In the case of security systems, the easier a system is to comprehend, the more likely an IT administrator (or similar) is to spot a threat and understand how to deal with it before it causes too much damage. Onboarding new security systems – cloud or otherwise – can prove to be difficult for some and there’s often a period of learning with the solution to truly get to grips with it. This time isn’t always welcome, though, as threats can emerge at any time and employees need full knowledge and confidence in their solutions to take the appropriate action.

This isn’t an issue with Microsoft Defender for Cloud, though. Because the solution is hosted in the highly popular Microsoft Azure platform, chances are your IT staff are already well-equipped to use the solution to its full benefit, if they’re already familiar with Azure. This allows staff to easily work with the new security solution straight out of the box, increasing the likelihood of an attack being eliminated in the first instance.

Compliance Management 

In an age where data is king, businesses are obligated to treat the data they manage responsibly to remain within the boundaries of the law at all times.However, with so many rules and regulations to follow regarding different types of data, this isn’t always easy to do, and storing data in the cloud adds a whole new level of complexity for businesses to deal with.

However, Microsoft Defender for Cloud not only helps you protect cloud data, but it also includes tools to guarantee you use the data in line with all relevant government rulings, including GDPR. This helps your business not only stick to the rules but also to present itself as a competent and law-abiding business that uses its clients’ data responsibly.

Identity-Specific Access Control

Accessibility is one of the key advantages of using cloud storage, allowing employees to access the data and services they need quickly, from anywhere with a stable internet connection. But given that cloud environments are accessible via the internet, as opposed to on-site storage which must be accessed in person, there are naturally more security concerns in play. Controlling which members of staff can access certain cloud areas or pieces of data, for example, is essential in limiting a potential leak or breach.

Microsoft Defender for Cloud also acts as an internal security tool, too, allowing administrators to assign access rules to specific cloud storage and files. This can be based on specific names, roles or levels of seniority within the business, guaranteeing only the right individuals will be able to access sensitive data.

Need to Boost Your Cloud Security? Netcentrix is Here to Help

If your business is in need of effective, reliable security for all your cloud systems, speak to Netcentrix about onboarding Microsoft Defender for Cloud today. As IT specialists with years of experience offering businesses the tools they need to defend themselves and push their efforts forward, we’re your ideal choice to help you make the most of cloud security tools like Microsoft Defender.

With Netcentrix, you’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager whose job is to ensure your products meet your exact requirements and are fully functioning at all times. If this ever changes, just reach out and we’ll get to work to solve any problems you may be experiencing and make your tools match your business goals. Our proactive support means we work hard to spot issues early on and deal with them quickly and efficiently, so you can focus on the tasks that matter to you, safe in the knowledge your cloud security is well in hand.

To find out more about Microsoft Defender for Cloud and how Netcentrix can help you make the most of this impressive tool, speak to a Netcentrix expert today.


  • Liv Appleton

    Technology Content Marketing Executive, Liv, joined the team in 2021, as our technology copywriter, before progressing to her current role as our Content Marketing Executive in 2022. Liv has a strong background in the field of technology and leverages deep industry knowledge across a range of topics to create informative, insightful, and educational content to guide businesses towards effective technology adoption. Liv is committed to bringing up to date information on the latest technology, reporting on industry trends and providing advice to empower customers to make the most of everything their technology solutions have to offer.

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