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The Security Benefits of Office 365

29 Apr 2016 by Jessica Hall

Communicating and collaborating through the many cloud-based productivity solutions has never been more intuitive and seamless. One of the most common options is Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 provides enterprise-class service and capabilities to help your business run smarter. When looking into it, consider these five important points about security:

Office 365 caters to companies.

“Office 365 is for enterprises and businesses who need to take specific regulations and guidelines into account,” says Stefanos Daskalakis, project manager at BlueMetal, an Insight company.

“Microsoft is a business-driven solution,” adds Ben O’Dwyer, client director at BlueMetal.

Daskalakis explains that companies in industries or locations with certain regulations will need to add additional Microsoft technologies like SharePoint Online and Active Directory to Office 365 to remain compliant.

Microsoft invests in meeting standards and regulations.

“Microsoft has taken the time to get individual credentials and certifications to meet myriad security standards, both domestically and abroad,” O’Dwyer says. With this commitment to quickly addressing requirements, you can have confidence that — no matter who you do business with or where — you’ll remain secure and compliant while using Office 365.

Microsoft offers expanded capabilities.

In addition to its certifications and credentials, O’Dwyer points out that Microsoft acquired RSA, which provides content-based security. Through the use of RSA’s technology, content is analyzed for confidential information, ensuring that if it is added, the information will be blocked from being shared or opened using granular governance policies.

Vendors can enhance security and compliance measures.

BlueMetal recently wrapped up a project for a large insurance company that migrated to Office 365. As is commonplace with large enterprises, the client had some special compliance needs. “They needed to be able to classify all their document storage and have specific retention schedules on their documents,” explains Bob German, principal architect at BlueMetal. “They also needed to be able to classify what goes into their SharePoint sites and to do the same thing with email.” Although some of the features they required are included in Exchange, the client needed to be able to assign a policy to an email and indicate how long it needed to be retained for legal reasons.

“At BlueMetal, we added some customizations to their SharePoint Online environment in Office 365 that allow them to do the same thing with all their documents,” says German. “While the baseline security in Office 365 did meet their needs, ranging from the way users log in to how data centers are secured,” he adds, “they had some unique needs around retaining documents for a certain amount of time and having audit trails they previously could only run on premises.” BlueMetal was able to meet the client’s needs in the cloud.

Device governance can be added.

Because many companies seek the ability to manage and govern an expanding number of devices, Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite provides secure and seamless access to the data and software solutions users need to conduct business. As the only solution that offers managed mobile productivity with Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite protects data on all devices without affecting personal data or requiring device enrollment. “Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite really helps with security, governance and compliance,” O’Dwyer says.

Consider supplemental support.

Are you considering a move to Office 365 for these reasons and more? Get help today. We're offering Gartner’s report, “What to Think of When Considering Office 365 or Google Apps for Work,” published July 2015 through July 2016 to help you understand the options and plan such a migration.

“IT leaders opting for cloud office systems should consider supplementing the base support with either premium vendor-supplied or third-party support options to meet their requirements, especially with large-scale deployments (above 5,000 seats), or if planning extensive integration or customization. This supplemental support must have the ability to bypass the first level of support and provide direct contact to Level 2 support engineers to expedite problem resolution. In addition, the IT leaders must negotiate clear and specific service levels before signing the contract (see "Negotiate Support Services Before Buying Office 365")” according to Gartner’s report, “What to Think of When Considering Office 365 or Google Apps for Work,” published July 2015.