Unified Access Control at Microsoft

​I challenge anyone to work at an enterprise like Microsoft and not be excited by the endless possibilities that technology presents. Here at Microsoft Global Security, we have a proven track record of deploying technology to support all elements of our business lines, including Investigations, Operations, Intelligence and our Risk Mitigation teams. During the past seven years we have continued to reinvent our Global Security Operations Centers (GSOCs), witnessing first-hand how strategy complimented by technology has helped us reduce risk, enhance our capabilities, and ultimately keep our people and assets safe.

Within the global Physical Security industry, we are increasingly seeing the convergence of IT and physical security practices. The emergence of disruptive technologies like cloud computing have provided the industry a new set of tools and services to embrace. As an end user, perceived benefits such as positive economics, scalability, speed of deployment and resilience make a very compelling case for this transformation.

At Microsoft Global Security, we have our own dedicated technology team to explore new possibilities for the delivery of security in order to enhance operational efficiency and resolve business pain points.

One important aspect of keeping Microsoft people and assets safe and secure is enterprise access control. Last year, our team began our partnership with Viscount Systems Inc., whose latest building security and access control system, Freedom, performs physical security functions as a software application. Viscount changes the model for physical security. Right now, physical security is very server based, using network video recordings (NVR) and a control panel to control all devices. The Freedom platform unifies physical and logical security systems, allowing facility access, such as doors and alarms, to be managed the same way as network access using Microsoft Active Directory as a unified common identity platform. This has the added cost benefit of eliminating control hardware.

We started our partnership with Viscount as part of the Microsoft Emergency Assist Initiative, as their system allowed our GSOCs to put a higher amount of intelligence into access control. For example, in the event of a building-specific emergency, all those who have badged into that area will receive Emergency Notifications, regardless of whether or not they normally work there.

By utilizing Freedom and other partner products, Global Security has been able to use software to greatly reduce the complexity and cost for facility protection. The use of cloud-technology has been instrumental in keeping our campuses safe, while adding to operational efficiency.

Brian Tuskan
Senior Global Security Director of Technology & Investigations, Microsoft Corporation

About the Author

Brian Tuskan | Sr. Director of Security Technology & Investigations, Microsoft Corporation

As Sr. Global Security Director of Technology & Investigations for Microsoft Corporation, Brian Tuskan oversees all security communications & awareness. In his 13 years at Microsoft, he has led multiple other Global Security teams, including Global... Read More