MISA is fostering business collaboration and improving security

Maria Thomson, lead of the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association, tells us about the value of the ecosystem in addressing business security threats and helping partners build on Microsoft’s success

MISA is fostering business collaboration and improving security

Microsoft established the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA) in 2018 to encourage collaboration and provide security technology specialists with a new way to grow and benefit from each other.  

Could you tell us about the creation and evolution of MISA? 
As a security provider to 95 per cent of the Fortune 500, Microsoft is in a unique position to connect the disparate tools that our customers have deployed. 

Our customers are diverse and have different security needs and network configurations, so we partner with our peers in virtually every way imaginable. We created MISA to build an ecosystem of intelligent security solutions that better defend against a world of increased threats. Our mission is to provide better security for our shared customers by integrating across the security ecosystem to share signals, increase visibility and protect against threats.  

MISA was launched with just 26 independent software vendors (ISVs). Since then, the organisation has expanded to include managed security service providers (MSSPs) and has grown to more than 300 members with over 280 product integrations and 360 managed security service offers. 

How does MISA build on Microsoft’s goal to deliver end-to-end security for users?  
Like any hard problem, cybersecurity requires enlisting help from a diverse set of perspectives. However, today, companies are too often challenged by the lack of integration between products. The deployed solutions operate in silos and the value of listening to different perspectives is offset by inefficiencies and failures of communication. The security community has an obligation to our customers to make sure our solutions work together.  

In support of this responsibility, Microsoft welcomes companies looking to integrate and provide better visibility, protection and choice for our joint customers. MISA enables collaboration with leading security technology and service companies, so together we can help customers benefit from using solutions from multiple vendors in harmony. Members are nominated for their ingenuity in creating smart security products that integrate with – and services that layer on top of – Microsoft security products. 

What value does the ecosystem provide for Microsoft partners? 
Our member benefits are four-fold. For those looking to enrich their security solutions, MISA helps them to leverage Microsoft security products to extend product capabilities and build differentiated services. For those interested in executing a go-to-market strategy, the association provides them with access to a broad range of marketing benefits that drive awareness of solutions and services, product roadmap updates and special events.  

Partners also often need help connecting with customers. Through MISA, we can help customers find, try and buy security products and services that work with their digital environments – giving members access to customers that will keep coming back.  

The Microsoft partner ecosystem is so successful because partners can build on top of our solutions. Our security partners are no different and integrating their offerings with our security services is essential to reaching the vast market of customers already using Microsoft technologies. To ensure our partners can reach these businesses, MISA helps them to integrate with Microsoft solutions, making the overall process for end-users simpler and easier. We do this by providing additional access to product teams to speed up integrations and better differentiate their solutions. 

This article was originally published in the Summer 2022 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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