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Microsoft Begins Rollout of Project VAST Security Tool

Microsoft recently began offering Project VAST, which stands for "Visual Auditing Security Tool," to its Microsoft Premier customers.

First unveiled in March, Project VAST combines the capabilities of Azure Log Analytics with Power BI to create data visualizations regarding the state of an organization's security.

The security status of an organization is surfaced using tabs that are built into the Project VAST interface. The idea is to take away the drudgery of having to comb through log files and store data for analysis using a security information and event management (SIEM) system.

According to an Aug. 30 Microsoft announcement, Project VAST currently addresses the following scenarios:

  • Insecure LDAP [Lightweight Directory Access Protocol] (unsigned, unencrypted) calls going against the domain controllers. Quickly identify the source and destination of the traffic.

  • Deprecated protocol and cipher usage (NTLM, wDigest, DES, RC4, SMB1, etc.) in the environment. Rich visual display represents verbose logging information.

  • All logons and authentications going against domain controllers in the environment. At a glance, understand which accounts authenticate to which computers and whether the logons are safe or insecure. Measure compliance with security best practices to lower the risk of credential theft. Understand the use of the service accounts.

  • Measure the deployment and effectiveness of tools like the Local Administrator Password Solution (LAPS) and audit its usage in the environment.

  • Monitor the organization's compliance with security best practices, such as the Microsoft Security Privilege Access (SPA) roadmap (https://aka.ms/privsec)

Apparently, Project VAST is only offered to customers of Microsoft Premier, a technical support services program offered to organizations. Project VAST is described as being part of a Microsoft Onboarding Accelerator program. To set it up, Project VAST requires four days of on-site support from a Microsoft Premier field engineer, along with one day of remote support.

Microsoft currently offers Project VAST in the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. It'll come next to "the Americas and the Asia-Pacific regions."

In other security news, the Microsoft Security Response Center has published its very first public documentation of its "security servicing criteria for Windows," according to an announcement. It defines Microsoft's thinking on how it responds to Windows security vulnerabilities that may get discovered by Microsoft or by security researchers.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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