Microsoft will offer Office 365 users up-to-the-minute threat protection with the introduction of ATP for Exchange Online.
The Advanced Threat Protection is offered for a monthly fee of around $2 per user, according to a Microsoft blog post ,which explained that it protects against the most sophisticated types of attack.
A private preview is running currently and the service will be offered on a wider basis within a few months.
Microsoft said that, while the Exchange Online email service already boasts good security coverage, a little extra payment will provide greater protection.
"Today, Office 365 provides robust email protection against spam, viruses and malware," said Shobhit Sahay, technical product manager for the Office 365 team at Microsoft.
"But as hackers around the globe launch increasingly sophisticated attacks, many organisations are seeking tools that provide advanced protection.
"That's why we are pleased to introduce a new email filtering service that provides additional protection against specific types of advanced threats.
"ATP is currently in private preview and is expected to be available this summer as an optional service for Office 365 commercial customers."
Advanced threats are seen as a significant threat, and Microsoft is promising major benefits from the additional customer investment, including the ability to protect enterprise email against unknown threats.
A feature called Safe Attachments is said to offer "better zero-day protection" for messaging systems.
The system also scans messages for dangerous content. Sahay said that the system will pick up hidden malicious URLs even when they are obscured in another address, and that reporting and forensic tools will let admins trace the source of an attack.
"Reporting and message tracing allows you to investigate messages that have been blocked due to an unknown virus or malware, while the URL trace capability allows you to track individual malicious links in the messages that have been clicked," he explained.
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