Office 365 Security – Office 365 Security Levels | Physical Layer | Logical Layer

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Office 365 security by user count is now the most popular enterprise cloud service. This mandates Office 365 Security as studies keep showing that concerns about security are the single greatest barrier holding back cloud adoption. Office 365 Security has become imperative as 17.1% of files in OneDrive and SharePoint Online contain sensitive information. This information includes payment card numbers, social security numbers, business plans, financial records, and user passwords.

Office 365 Security

Data security in the cloud has always been one of the biggest concerns for IT departments. It is a major concern for users who want to take advantage of cloud computing.

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In the case of Office 365, enterprises are eager to know the location of their data. They want to know whether or not they are being compliant with regional laws and regulations. Also, they want to know if the security controls are in line with what they can achieve with their on-premises infrastructure.

On the other hand, the upcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation will introduce extensive requirements. These requirements are available for any organization doing business in Europe. They have pinpointed different standards of data security thus, owing to the fact that Microsoft may be compelled to produce data. This data will be produced under court order in other jurisdictions like the United States. They can violate EU data protection laws, some enterprises may be needing additional security features to supplement Office 365.

Because of the above-mentioned reasons, Microsoft has raised the security bar higher by investing significant resources in building its security stack. It has also partnered with third-party security vendors to offer additional layers of security to better accommodate organizations with more complex requirements.

Office 365 Security Levels

The service-level built into Office 365 has been broken down into physical, logical, and data layers. Microsoft has built capabilities into Office 365 without needing and customization or third-party vendors which are extensive and extend beyond the security controls enterprises can support applications running in their own data centers. Enterprise-grade cloud applications like Office 365 leverage on pooled security resources delivered by a company whose core competency requires maintaining high availability and security for these applications.

Physical Layer

This is security for the physical access of the data. Microsoft stores its customer’s data in data centers distributed geographically, restricts access to data centers job function, and utilizes physical security measures like badges, smart cards, biometric scanners, motion sensors, security officers, video surveillance and two-factor authentication.

For the network level, Microsoft only enables connections on the condition that they are very necessary for the systems to operate and blocks other ports, protocols, and connections. Tiered Access Control Lists and firewall rules put security restrictions on communication protocols as well as port numbers. These are also security features that detect intrusions as well as vulnerabilities at the network layer.

Logical Layer

Here, Microsoft employs a “Security Development Lifecycle” procedure to make sure every stage of Office 365 development conforms to security best practices and also ensures that it’s cloud services stays secure with each new release.

To safeguard data from malicious applications, Microsoft employs anti-malware software. They do this by both detecting and preventing such software from accessing the systems to forestall additional damage. Also, they perform regular updates, hotfixes, and patches.

Date Layer – Data

Office 365 is designed as a multi-tenant service, which implies that multiple customers use some of the same hardware resources. This is one of the primary benefits of cloud computing that facilitates lower operating costs. Microsoft isolates co-tenant data via Active Directory and posses other features specially designed to secure multi-tenant environments.

Microsoft has factored in encryption features for Office 365 that adheres to industry cryptographic standards like SSL/TLS, AES, etc. Customer-facing servers make use of more secure sessions using SSL/TLS to have data secured in transit. Microsoft also makes use of BitLocker to encrypt data at rest. The BitLocker comes in handy. This is as it is integrated with the operating system to safeguard the data. It helps safeguard data in case it is lost, stolen, or inappropriately decommissioned.


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