Microsoft DART/Cybersecurity Incident Response Available Without Unified Support or EA

Microsoft DART/Cybersecurity Incident Response Available Without Unified Support or EA.

Microsoft DART/Cybersecurity Incident Response Available Without Unified Support or EA

Some enterprises aren’t aware that the cybersecurity addon to Unified Support is available directly from Microsoft to any new or existing customer. You still get access to the Microsoft Detection and Response Team (DART) if using US Cloud for Microsoft support by directly purchasing (hourly or retainer) Incident Response services from Microsoft Security.

Microsoft DART/Cybersecurity Incident Response Available Without Unified Support or EA

Microsoft Unified Enterprise Support Overview

Microsoft Unified enterprise support

Microsoft Unified Enterprise Support (UES), is a premium support offering from Microsoft designed to meet the needs of larger organizations with complex Microsoft environments. It builds upon the foundation of Microsoft Unified Support by providing enhanced features, personalized support, and deeper technical expertise.

Key Benefits

  • Reduced Downtime: Minimize business disruptions with rapid response and resolution of critical issues.
  • Improved Productivity: Enhanced support helps your IT team focus on strategic initiatives rather than routine troubleshooting.
  • Proactive Risk Management: Identify and address potential problems before they cause major disruptions.
  • Business Optimization: Leverage Microsoft expertise to optimize your Microsoft environment for performance and efficiency.
  • Peace of Mind: Gain confidence knowing you have access to the highest level of Microsoft support.


  • Cost: Unified Enterprise is the most expensive Microsoft support option due to its percentage of total Microsoft spend model and year-over-year increases.
  • Contract Term: Multi-year commitments do not lock prices if annual consumption growth greater than 5%.
  • Complexity: Implementing and managing UES effectively may require a dedicated IT member or partner.


  • Microsoft Unified Support: Consider the standard Unified Support offering if you have simpler needs and a smaller budget.
  • Alternative Microsoft Support Providers: Evaluate third-party vendors, such as US Cloud, who may offer faster support at 50% less cost per Gartner.
  • Internal IT Support: Large organizations with extensive Microsoft expertise might manage support internally.

Microsoft Unified Enterprise Support is a powerful tool for larger organizations looking to maximize their Microsoft investments and minimize downtime. However, it’s crucial to understand its costs, complexity, and potential alternatives to ensure it aligns perfectly with your specific needs.

Security Services Included with Microsoft Unified Support

Microsoft security support

As part of Microsoft Unified Enterprise Support’s goal to optimize each customer’s Microsoft software investment, security services and cybersecurity may each be purchased to enhance a Microsoft customer’s security posture and better protect the organization.

The Microsoft security solutions portfolio includes four focus areas:

  • cloud security and identity
  • mobility
  • enhanced information protection
  • secure infrastructure

Security services help customers understand how to protect and innovate their IT infrastructure,

applications and data against internal and external threats. Security services may be an element

of a customized program of support services, available for an additional fee and may be defined

in an exhibit and referenced in your Unified Enterprise Support work order.

Cybersecurity Support Services are an enhanced service solution and may be purchased in addition to other Unified addon services including designated engineering, enhanced response, rapid response, azure event management, m365 engineering direct, developer support and mission critical.

Cybersecurity Support Services provide specialized cybersecurity-related assistance under both reactive and proactive scenarios (“Cybersecurity Services”). These services help to reduce the risk of targeted cyber attacks, better prepare for security crisis situations or investigate and contain an active security compromise. Cybersecurity Services provides a customized program of support services and may be available for an additional fee defined in an exhibit referenced in your Unified Enterprise Support work order.

Microsoft Detection and Response Team (DART) Access

Microsoft Detection and Response Team (DART) access

The Microsoft Detection and Response Team (DART) is part of Microsoft’s broader cybersecurity defense infrastructure, tasked with providing rapid incident response services to organizations facing cybersecurity threats, breaches, or complex security incidents.

DART is composed of cybersecurity experts and analysts who specialize in investigating, analyzing, and responding to cyberattacks and security breaches, leveraging a deep understanding of the threat landscape and advanced forensic tools to mitigate threats and secure customer environments.

Here’s a closer look at what the Microsoft Detection and Response Team does:

Reactive Incident Response Services

  • Rapid Response: The DART team is available 24/7 to respond to security incidents and help organizations contain threats quickly.
  • Expert Investigation: The team has extensive experience in investigating a wide range of cyberattacks, including ransomware, data breaches, and malware infections.
  • Root Cause Analysis: They work to identify the root cause of an incident to help prevent similar attacks from happening in the future.
  • Recovery Assistance: The DART team can help organizations recover from an incident and restore their systems to normal operation.

Proactive Security Investigations

  • Vulnerability Assessments: The DART team can help organizations identify and address vulnerabilities in their systems before they are exploited by attackers.
  • Threat Hunting: They can proactively hunt for threats within an organization’s network to identify and stop attacks before they cause damage.
  • Security Exercises: The DART team offers security exercises to help organizations test their incident response plans and improve their preparedness.

Key Benefits of Microsoft DART

  • Expertise: The DART team has extensive experience in responding to cyberattacks and can provide valuable insights and guidance.
  • Speed: They can respond to incidents quickly and help minimize the damage caused by an attack.
  • Resources: Microsoft has significant resources that the DART team can leverage to investigate and resolve incidents.
  • Collaboration: The DART team can work with other security teams within Microsoft to share information and expertise.

The Microsoft Detection and Response Team plays a critical role in Microsoft’s commitment to customer security, offering a rapid response capability that helps organizations minimize the impact of cyberattacks. DART’s services are particularly valuable for large enterprises, government entities, and organizations in critical sectors that face sophisticated and persistent cyber threats. By providing expert analysis, guidance, and support during and after security incidents, DART helps ensure that businesses can recover more quickly and fortify their defenses against future threats.

Microsoft Security’s Incident Response (IR) Services For All

Microsoft security incident response (IR) services for all MS customers

Microsoft Incident Response provides fast, flexible services that will remove a bad actor from your environment, build resilience for future attacks, and help mend your defenses after a breach.

Their global team of incident responders leverage expertise from Microsoft product engineers, security analysts, and threat researchers, along with governments around the world, to help customers keep their most sensitive, critical environments secure.

Incident response needs vary, and Microsoft provides service options for proactive attack preparation, and reactive crisis response, and compromise recovery so you can regain full control of your environment after damage is contained.

The Microsoft Incident Response service, sometimes abbreviated as Microsoft IR, offers comprehensive support to organizations facing cybersecurity incidents. It goes beyond the reactive assistance of the Microsoft Detection and Response Team (DART) by providing a structured, multi-phased approach to incident response, recovery, and post-incident improvement.

Here’s a breakdown of what the Microsoft Incident Response service entails:

Microsoft Incident Response Capabilities

  • Prioritized Response from Incident Response Experts: Two-hour response in the event of a security incident (if purchasing Cybersecurity Incident Response proactively as a retainer.)
  • Assigned Incident Response Coordinator: A Microsoft incident response expert to guide your engagement during an active security incident.
  • Incident Response: Threat investigation, digital forensics, log analysis, malware analysis, attacker containment, and recovery.
  • Proactive Compromise Assessments: Assessment of risks to your environment to increase security posture, including both on-prem and cloud.
  • Threat Briefings: Threat intelligence briefings with guidance on emerging threats tailored to your industry and geographical location.
  • Assigned Customer Success Account Manager (CSAM): Your point of contact to schedule proactive services and to ensure you get the full value of your retainer contract.

Phases of Microsoft Incident Response

  • Initial Response and Containment: This phase involves rapidly isolating the incident, mitigating the threat, and minimizing potential damage. Microsoft IR experts work with your team to understand the nature of the incident and implement immediate containment measures.
  • Investigation and Analysis: The team conducts a deep-dive investigation to determine the scope and impact of the attack, identify the attacker’s methods, and gather evidence for potential legal action.
  • Eradication and Recovery: The focus shifts to removing the attacker’s presence from your environment, restoring affected systems, and ensuring complete data recovery.
  • Post-Incident Review and Improvement: Microsoft IR helps you analyze the incident, identify vulnerabilities exploited, and develop recommendations to strengthen your security posture and prevent future attacks.

Benefits of Using Microsoft Incident Response Team & Services

  • Global Response: Receive all day, everyday incident esponse expertise, with options for onsite and remote assistance on a global scale.everage the skills and experience of highly skilled Microsoft security professionals specializing in incident response.
  • Industry Proven Expertise: Leverage the full depth and breadth of Microsoft’s security research and unparalleled access to product engineering.
  • Proactive Collaboration: Get up to date threat intelligence from Microsoft, who collaborates with government agencies and global security organizations to fight cybercrime.

MS IR Services Engagement Options

  • Microsoft Premier/Unified Support: Included in some Premier/Unified Support tiers, offering access to Microsoft IR for a specific timeframe during an incident.
  • Microsoft Defender for Endpoint: Enhanced protection plans within Defender for Endpoint include access to Microsoft IR for qualified incidents.
  • Standalone Purchase: Organizations can directly purchase Microsoft IR services as needed either hourly or by retainer (guarantees 2-hour response time).

Important Considerations

  • Cost: Microsoft IR is a premium service with associated costs depending on the chosen engagement option and the complexity of the incident.
  • Internal Resources: While Microsoft IR provides expertise, having some internal security expertise or a trusted security partner can enhance collaboration and improve outcomes.
  • Timely Engagement: Seeking help early in an incident is crucial for minimizing damage and maximizing the effectiveness of Microsoft IR services.
  • Cyber Insurance: Some insurance carriers require you to use their preferred provider for Incident Response. Check your policy to see if you can use Microsoft IR.

The Microsoft Incident Response service offers a valuable solution for organizations facing cybersecurity incidents. Its structured approach, expert guidance, and global capabilities can significantly improve incident response, recovery, and future security posture. However, carefully consider the costs and resource requirements before engaging this service. Early engagement and a collaborative approach are key to successful incident response.

Replace Unified Support with US Cloud and Retain DART

Replace Unified Support with US Cloud and retain Microsoft DART

Some organizations still aren’t aware that the cybersecurity addon for Microsoft Unified Enterprise Support is also available as a standalone service directly from Microsoft to any new or existing customer, including those without an Enterprise Agreement (EA). You still get access to the Microsoft Detection and Response Team (DART) if using US Cloud for Microsoft support by directly purchasing (hourly or retainer) Incident Response services from Microsoft Security.

Here are the reasons why enterprises worldwide are replacing Microsoft Unified Support with US Cloud:


– Reduced Expenses: US Cloud often presents a more cost-effective solution compared to Microsoft Unified Support, especially for organizations looking to manage or reduce their support costs without sacrificing the quality or breadth of support services.

Personalized Support Experience

– Dedicated Support Teams: US Cloud claims to offer more personalized service, with dedicated support teams that may provide a more tailored and consistent support experience.

– Familiarity with Client Environments: The dedicated teams can become more familiar with your specific IT environment and needs, potentially leading to faster issue resolution and more relevant advice.

Flexibility and Customization

– Customized Support Plans: Unlike the more standardized offerings from Microsoft Unified Support, US Cloud may offer more flexibility in customizing support plans to better fit the unique needs and budgets of different organizations.

Rapid Response Times

– Faster Initial Response: US Cloud often advertises faster initial response times to support tickets, especially critical for organizations that require immediate assistance to minimize downtime and maintain business continuity.

Broad and Deep Expertise

– Expertise Beyond Microsoft Products: While both Microsoft Unified Support and US Cloud have deep expertise in Microsoft products, US Cloud may also offer expertise in integrating Microsoft technologies with other platforms and in navigating complex multi-vendor environments.

Proactive Support Services

– Preventive Measures and Strategic Guidance: US Cloud might provide more proactive support services, including regular health checks, strategic planning sessions, and advice on best practices to prevent issues before they occur.

Simplified Contract and Billing

– Straightforward Agreements: Organizations may find US Cloud’s contract and billing processes to be simpler or more transparent than those associated with Microsoft Unified Support, making it easier to predict costs and manage service agreements.

The right support provider for your organization should align with your operational, technical, and financial requirements, ensuring that your IT environment is supported effectively and enables your business objectives.

Buy Incident Response Direct from Microsoft Security (No Unified or EA Needed)

Buy Incident Response direct from Microsoft - no Unified Support or Enterprise Agreement (EA) needed

Microsoft Incident Response is available to all new and existing Microsoft customers for purchase as a standalone service from Microsoft Security. You do not need to be participating in Microsoft’s Unified Support program or have an Enterprise Agreement (EA) to procure the Incident Response service and benefit from the Microsoft Detection and Response Team (DART).

You may purchase Microsoft Incident Response as an hourly service, enabling organizations to engage reactively when an incident occurs or proactively by purchasing in advance on retainer. Purchasing in advance on retainer gives your organization prioritized two-hour response time from incident response experts in the event of a security incident.

Microsoft Incident Response can be purchased in advance and during a security incident through onsite delivery and capacity for US clearances. Check with your Microsoft representative for citizenship clearance availability outside of the US. Contact your Microsoft Account Representative to order Incident Response today.

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