It seems that Microsoft is responding to cloud security skeptics with a recent preview release of Microsoft Endpoint Protection for Windows Azure, which is designed to enable antimalware on Azure VMs. The plugin's preview version is currently free to download, and Microsoft has included the following infographic to illustrate how Azure storage/monitoring works:
Microsoft Endpoint protction offers the following functionality, according to the MSDN blog:
- Real-time activity monitoring for malware detection
- Scheduled scanning for malware detection
- Malware Remediation
- Updates "virus definitions"
- Reports metadata to Microsoft
Here's how it works: MEP includes SDK extensions to Azure Tools for VS. The endpoint protection installer starts up with your service, and protects according to the geographical region specified in the .cscfg file. Prerequisites for installing MEP require that you have a Windows Azure Account, VS 2010, and Windows Azure Tools for VS. Further information about deployment, installation, and configuration of MEP can be found at the MSDN Blog here.
While it's all well and good to see the Azure team trying to defend its platform from malware, which has plagued PC's since the inception of the internet, it's hard to not stay skeptical about the effectiveness of antimalware initiatives on the cloud. As we've seen so far, malware seems to thrive on attempts to defend against it.