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Osterman Research Recommends Filling in Security Gaps of Microsoft Office 365

By Beth Watts
Nov 8, 2017

Filling the Gaps in Office 365

I recently read Osterman’s latest research paper, Filling the Gaps in Office 365. Osterman Research conducted an in-depth survey of organizations that are migrating to Office 365, have already migrated, or will be doing so within the next 12 months. In the research paper, the survey confirms the need for data security product suites, like Jungle Disk, who offer complementary data security services. Specifically, they identify blind spots in productivity tools within the realm of data security.

Backing Up Your Data

The research shows that many of the organizations moving to Office 365 are most interested in email, security, multi-factor authentication, archiving and telephony/ real-time communications. However, these organizations tend to treat Office 365 as a “one-stop shop” employing more expensive plans with all of the features and functions that their users would need. While some of the Microsoft licenses are quite robust offering email encryption, for example, there is not archiving for some content types such as SharePoint, Skype or text messaging. Shameless plug, Jungle Disk can help with archiving and backing up any file-level data living on a server or workstation.

Email Encryption

Additionally, even though Office 365 offers an email encryption service, Office 365 Message Encryption, as part of the higher cost enterprise plans, it does not offer a transparent end-to-end encryption service that will automatically encrypt and decrypt messages for both senders and recipients without additional per-message steps and authentication requirements. Encryption, rather, is triggered by a policy set using an Exchange transport rule configured by an administrator. The policy trigger can require a number of manual actions by the sender, such as adding the word “encrypt” to the subject line, which is less than ideal.

Another major risk in solely relying only on Office 365 is when a phishing or new variant ransomware email is not detected by its security toolset. The study recommended that organizations should avoid putting all of their eggs in one basket with diversifying your threat intelligence and mitigation strategy with a more robust, multi-layered defense approach. For example, Jungle Disk offers Network Threat Protection with this concept in mind. Jungle Disk can help fill this gap by offering a cloud-enabled firewall that keeps your internet clean and protects you from always developing malware. By pushing policies to the device via the cloud, it allows for automatic updates which mitigates the need to constantly buy and upgrade to new hardware every few years.

To sum up the research results, the survey really drives home the concept that while Office 365 certainly is a a great productivity and collaboration tool, there are some gaps within the software that must be met in order to run your business efficiently. To ensure the utmost levels of security within your business, it’s necessary to complement Office 365 with technologies such as email archiving, cloud-backups and network security.