At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, cloud identity management provider Xceedium took the opportunity to introduce its flagship protection offering to the Microsoft cloud world. The company's Xsuite now includes protection for Microsoft Online Services, including Office 365, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint.

The extension of the Xceedium platform, which provides customers with identity management for the hybrid cloud, provides federation and auditing of all privileged access for supported Microsoft cloud services. Additionally, Xceedium's single sign-on capabilities have also been extended to the Microsoft Online Services portfolio.

"Since our initial push into the cloud over two years ago, we continue to address our customers' rapidly evolving cloud security requirements. We are delighted to be working with Microsoft to extend Xsuite's federated identity and privileged user security capabilities to Microsoft Online Services," said Glenn Hazard, Xceedium's CEO, in a prepared statement.

Xsuite for Microsoft Online Services includes several features such as:

  • Multi-factor authentication for all access to Microsoft Online Services, including logical (PIV/CAC) smartcard access to federal agency systems as required under HSPD-12.
  • Separation of duties for administrative access to Microsoft Online Services (Office 365, Exchange, Lync and SharePoint).
  • Single sign-on to Microsoft Online Services using federated Active Directory or LDAP credentials, including SSO access from multiple clients (Windows, Mac, Unix).
  • Recording of privileged user sessions for comprehensive audit and forensics and to simplify compliance with Federal Government Continuous Monitoring mandates.
  • Enforce and proxy privileged access to Microsoft Online Services through a US Federal Government Trusted Internet Connection (TIC).
  • Address dozens of new systems administrator control requirements found in the recently updated NIST Special Publication 800-53 (R4).

The addition of such controls for Microsoft Online Services, particularly for the likes of Office 365, could have a positive effect on Microsoft's growth in the federal government space. Not that Microsoft is exactly hurting in thta area, but it continues to do battle against Google, Amazon Web Services and its many other competitors when it comes to acquiring federal cloud contracts. In a lot of cases, it's at the losing end of the stick.

"Microsoft's Federal government customers continue to extend their enterprises into the cloud, taking advantage of the cost savings, productivity and flexibility presented by Office 365 and our other online services," said Susie Adams, Microsoft Federal CTO, in a prepared statement.

What kind of impact will this have on Microsoft's channel partners? Hopefully nothing but a positive one.