In a major expansion, WatchGuard Technologies has announced that it is bringing its integrated security platform approach to Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud platform.

Depending on who is talking, Windows Azure is currently the number two or three when it comes to pubic clouds, and Azure customers can now utilize WatchGuard’s comprehensive defense offering that spans the network, content, email and web security.

In a prepared statement, Roger Klorese, the director of Product Management at WatchGuard noted:

“Windows Azure is clearly a compelling solution for organizations that are looking to improve and extend availability of their IT services. We are pleased to work closely with Microsoft to bring the same level of comprehensive and best-in-class security that companies rely on for private networks to these growing cloud connections.”

David Aiken, the Group Product Marketing Manager for Windows Azure at Microsoft said:

“Windows Azure’s cloud scalability, speed, and economics make it a compelling option for our customers that want to take advantage of the cloud while continuing to use their on-premises infrastructure.

These customers require secure data access from on-premises networks to the cloud, and WatchGuard’s unified threat management platform helps extend on-premises datacenters to the cloud while assuring secure access.”

Organizations and enterprises around the world are now pouring vast amounts of sensitive data, applications and services into the cloud, meaning secure data access now becomes paramount.

The integration of Windows Azure with the WatchGuard XTM security appliance allows full support for VPN access to the Windows Azure Virtual Network service to create secure VPN tunnels linking on-premise networks to cloud environments.

When combined with its existing Microsoft Hyper-V support (Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, and Hyper-V Server 2012), WatchGuard is now is the only company to deliver unified threat management for the hybrid cloud.

And this ensures seamless security of data spread access across public cloud, private network and virtualized IT environments.

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