Microsoft is taking an equity stake in data management and backup firm Rubrik and the two companies are also planning co-engineering projects for solutions built on Azure, aimed at enabling enhanced data protection amid widespread ransomware attacks.
On Tuesday, Rubrik announced a “strategic agreement” with Microsoft including an investment from the tech giant and new collaborations to enable “zero trust data protection.” The dollar amount of the investment was not disclosed.
The agreement comes as Microsoft continues to focus on bringing a zero trust security architecture to customers and as ransomware attacks continue to proliferate—including with high-profile breaches such as the attack on Accenture, a major Microsoft partner, which was disclosed last week.
The deal will see Rubrik and Microsoft working together to deliver “tightly integrated data protection while accelerating and simplifying our customer’s journey to the cloud,” said Rubrik Co-Founder and CEO Bipul Sinha in a news release.
Nick Parker, corporate vice president for global partner solutions at Microsoft, said in the release that integrating Rubrik’s “Zero Trust Data Management solutions” with Azure and Microsoft 365 “will make it easy for customers to advance their Zero Trust journey and increase their digital resilience.”
Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft and Palo Alto, Calif.-based Rubrik already have had a “longstanding” partnership, and count more than 2,000 mutual customers in total, Rubrik said in its release.
Ric Opal, principal and national go-to-market and strategic partnerships leader at BDO Digital, a Microsoft Gold partner, said that Microsoft likely sees an opportunity to both get a financial return on its investment while accelerating movement to its cloud platforms.
Rubrik makes sense as a vendor for Microsoft to focus on in this way, since Rubrik is clearly “aligned to the Microsoft strategy,” Opal said. The deal shows that the basis for an expanded collaboration with Microsoft is an alignment “to zero trust and the other related security, compliance, identity and management strategies that Microsoft is bringing to customers,” he said.
In May, Rubrik used its Rubrik Forward conference to introduce wide-ranging tools aimed at helping businesses protect against ransomware and help recover from successful ransomware attacks. The company also introduced new custom blueprints for protecting data, the ability to protect billions of files, and new Microsoft 365-focused SaaS data protection tools at the time.
The strategic agreement with Microsoft will “drive go-to-market activities and co-engineering projects to deliver integrated Zero Trust data protection solutions built on Microsoft Azure,” Rubrik said in its news release Tuesday.
The work will ultimately boost protection against “surging ransomware attacks,” the company said. “Together, Rubrik and Microsoft will provide Microsoft 365 and hybrid cloud data protection and integrated cloud services on Microsoft Azure.”
More than one-third of all organizations globally have experienced a ransomware incident over the past 12 months, according to research firm IDC, which disclosed the findings from a new survey on ransomware attacks last week.