In a significant move to fortify the defense of Operational Technology (OT) environments, Microsoft has announced a transition in the licensing model for its acclaimed Defender for IoT, effective from June 1, 2023. This strategic shift aims to provide enhanced protection and better adaptability to the evolving threat landscape faced by organisations relying on OT.

The Transition at a Glance

1. Closure of Azure Consumption Model to New Customers

  • The former Azure consumption model has been closed to new customers, signaling a pivotal shift in Microsoft’s approach.
  • Existing customers are given the option to transition to the new site-based licensing model or continue with the previous model.

2. Strengthening Defenses Against Growing Threats

  • The change is a proactive response to the escalating threats posed to OT environments.
  • Microsoft aims to bolster security measures and stay ahead of emerging risks that could potentially compromise critical infrastructure.

3. Predictable Pricing and Enhanced Flexibility

  • Site-based licensing introduces a tiered structure, ensuring predictable pricing for organisations of all sizes.
  • This innovative model provides improved flexibility and adaptability, catering to the diverse needs of different sites within an organisation.

4. Managing Security Costs Effectively

  • Organisations can now determine and manage their security costs more effectively with the site-based licensing model.
  • This approach facilitates a clear understanding of expenses and helps in aligning security investments with specific site requirements.

How the Site-Based Licensing Model Works

💡 Annual Licenses Based on OT Devices

  • Annual licenses are available for purchase, with pricing structured based on the maximum number of OT devices an organisation wants to secure at each site.

💡 Flat Rate per Site Size

  • Pricing is a flat rate per site size, deviating from the conventional prorated model based on the number of devices.
  • This ensures simplicity in cost calculation and budgeting for organisations.

💡 Tailored Licensing for Varied Site Requirements

  • For example, if an organisation aims to secure three sites with varying device counts (90, 700, and 25 devices), they would purchase Extra-Small licenses for the first and third sites and a Large license for the second site.

💡 Special Consideration for Large-Scale Deployments

  • Organisations planning to secure over 5000 devices at a single site are encouraged to reach out to their Microsoft sales representative for tailored solutions.

Embracing the Future of IoT Security

Microsoft’s transition to a site-based licensing model for Defender for IoT signifies a commitment to evolving with the dynamic landscape of cybersecurity. By offering a structured and flexible approach, this model empowers organisations to strengthen their OT security posture, effectively manage costs, and navigate the challenges posed by modern cyber threats.

As organisations continue to rely on IoT technologies for operational efficiency, Microsoft’s Defender for IoT stands as a formidable ally in the ongoing battle against cyber threats, ensuring a secure and resilient future for critical infrastructure.

Find out more in the following MS Tech Community Blog - here