Many businesses still rely on familiar site-based tools such as Office 2016, which provides broad functionality across multiple business functions. However, employees are often more willing to embrace the cloud with its greater flexibility in allowing people to work the way they want. Microsoft Office 365 offers a compromise between these two sets of needs by bringing cloud-based productivity tools under a company’s control. Office 365 security requires an effective partnership between the Office 365’s security features and a business’s own security guidelines.
Businesses with an Office 365 subscription need to know when users sign on and what they do, especially for heavily regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services. However, Office 365 doesn’t log user activity directly. The most common solution to obtaining visibility for cloud services like Office 365 is to implement a cloud access security broker, which records all data flowing through the proxy. Some brokers can also alert you to suspicious activity on customer data and send this information in plain language to an email address.
Employees frequently end up with multiple accounts when a cloud-computing deployment is poorly integrated into a business’s identity system. This result can cause employees to reuse passwords or even write them down, which increases the likelihood of compromised passwords. A Single Sign-On (SSO) is the typical solution to identity sprawl, which allows an office 365 admin to manage all of a user’s accounts with Microsoft Active Directory. They can also lock users out of all the business’s systems simply by deactivating their Active Directory account, thus alleviating concerns about the sensitive data that employees have in their Office applications.
Sensitive information includes financial projections and customers’ credit card numbers, so the consequences of data loss can be severe for both a business and its customers. This task becomes considerably more complex when moving to the cloud, since the business no longer controls physical access to its servers. Data protection for Office 365 requires a solution with multiple layers of security that removes sensitive information from Exchange Online messages and their attachments before they can be downloaded. This information should also have a hidden identifier that lets you know when it was downloaded and who accessed it.
Employees in today’s businesses must be able to download data from any location to remain productive, so they need mobile devices rather than a PC or Mac. However, meeting this requirement also means that company information can be accessed by any mobile device, whether it’s managed by that company or not. A system like OneDrive for Business can protect data without installing software on each device or invading employees’ privacy. This approach allows an admin to delete data when a device is lost or stolen without ever having physical access to it.
CSCi can help you secure products like Office 365 Home for your small business. We have been helping businesses in the San Diego area meet their IT needs for over 25 years. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you.