Microsoft has acquired Aorato, a company that is widely described as a “cloud-security vendor” who has focused on bringing cloud-related solutions to enterprise users. The acquisition is not entirely surprising as the company has been spending the last several months boosting, expanding, and remarketing their cloud, and mobile offerings, but for $200 million this is not an ordinary startup acquisition.
The talks had been going since the summer, when rumors had begun swirling that the Redmond giant could be on pace to buy its 5th foreign company to date. A press release by Microsoft finally pointed to the reasoning behind the acquisition, and what Microsoft might be looking to do long-term with the company.
Ultimately, Microsoft looks to be focusing on network security for their enterprise users. Aorato uses machine learning to spot and find any fraudulent or suspicious activity on an enterprise network, and Microsoft appears eager to implement the technology Aorato has to offer for their Active Directory Services.
Microsoft noted in their press release after the announcement of the deal that the “Key to Aorato’s approach is the Organizational Security Graph, a living, continuously-updated view of all the people and machines accessing an organization’s Windows Server Active Directory.”
Simply put, the technology and system that Microsoft gained through acquiring Aorato will help the company and its users monitor those who are operating within specific enterprise networks, and ensure that the individuals, as well as computers are legitimate ones – by having a more-active, and more-aggressive computer learning system within the security software.
Interestingly, Aorato’s co-founder and CEO had some interesting comments regarding the ability of the system. In a discussion of a high-profile NSA data breach, where the accused individual supposedly gained passwords, and usernames to ultimately acquire information that was not under his own lock-and-key, Idan Plotnik said even if “Colleagues’ passwords [were used] to access sensitive docs,” and that “Even if the user activity seems legitimate, the same account would actually present suspicious or abnormal behavior behind the scenes which Aorato would detect.”
This technology could be a major stepping stone for Microsoft to really shore up their enterprise business, as they’re already slated to update significant portions of their enterprise mobile platforms, and boost their cloud and office functions moving forward.