Over the last year or so, we’ve been encouraging our clients who want to use a cloud-based office productivity suite to choose Microsoft Office 365. We’ve already talked about its rich functionality, ease of use, availability, and cost-effectiveness. Now we’d like to talk about its security and compliance features.
Microsoft is an industry leader in data compliance, so it should come as no surprise that the Microsoft Office 365 platform includes privacy, security, and compliance features that work seamlessly across the entire suite of applications. For example, if you set data loss prevention rules that prohibit personally identifiable information (PII) from leaving the organization, Microsoft Office 365 will apply those rules to every service, from email to online file sharing. If one of your employees accidentally tries to email a document containing a Social Security number, upload it to SharePoint or OneDrive, or attach it to a Microsoft Outlook meeting invitation, Microsoft Office 365 will block the interaction and alert the sender to remove the protected information before trying again.
Microsoft Office 365 is independently verified to meet global security and compliance standards, including ISO 27001, FISMA, HIPAA, FERPA, GDPR, and the Cloud Security Alliance. And because it’s built on Microsoft Azure enterprise cloud services, it lets your small or midsize company take advantage of enterprise-grade security features that, depending on your existing subscription, are either available for a modest additional fee or included at no extra charge.
These further features include mobile device management, multifactor authentication, encryption, granular rights management, and identity management with single sign-on capabilities that extend beyond Microsoft Office 365 itself to include third-party SaaS applications like Salesforce and DocuSign. These services are highly customizable, allowing Xantrion to tailor access requirements appropriately for different groups and roles in your company and manage them centrally while remaining transparent to your end users.
Microsoft hosts and maintains all these services itself, allowing Xantrion to perform due diligence for all necessary certifications and compliance requirements by contacting just one vendor. By comparison, other cloud productivity suites only offer important security capabilities and continuing support through third party add-ons with separate licenses and terms of service, which makes verifying their security more complicated.
Finally, Microsoft is committed to transparency about how it handles sensitive data. If you want to know where your data is stored, Microsoft will tell us, right down to the geographic location of the specific data center. And if you’re worried about Microsoft mining your customer data, we can provide their verification that they do not capture, maintain, scan, index, share, or use any of your data beyond what’s necessary to provide and maintain the services you use.
Anyone can provide a web-based application, but not everyone can deliver the level of protection necessary for companies’ subject to stringent regulatory compliance. That’s why Xantrion recommends our most security-conscious clients make the move to Microsoft Office 365.