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The productivity capabilities of Office 365 are well known, but do you know what the cloud can offer in terms of security? In today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world, security is a very real issue. Cybercrime is at an all-time high with data breaches costing roughly $3 trillion annually. The explosion of IoT and the growing use of mobile and wearable devices has increased the surface area that needs protection both in terms of vulnerability and productivity.

Security has become a larger issue just based on the sheer volume of devices now used. The statistics alone are staggering.

  • Last year, 160 million customer records were compromised.
  • On average it takes more than 200 days before a hack is detected.
  • The cost of each security breach is upwards of $3 million (or more).

As hackers become more sophisticated and more organized in their attempts to compromise private and public organizations, our response needs to be one of thoughtful and intelligent vigilance. That’s is why security is one of the most important design principles and features of Office 365.

Key Offerings of Office 365 Security

Director of Office 365 Security, Alym Rayani, has quite a bit to say about the security offerings of Office 365. His WPC 2016 session on Driving Incremental Revenue with Office 365 People-Centric Security was one of the most highly scored sessions of the whole conference. Here’s what he had to say about what Office 365 can do.

“What we’re seeing from customers is a pretty shocking demand for these capabilities because of what’s happening in the world. No customer wants to be that headline in the news.”

– Alym Rayani, Director of Office 365 Security

The latest security and compliance features built in to Office 365 include the ability to help protect organizations against unknown malware and viruses, enhanced visibility and control of usage and security incidents, the ability to maintain explicit control over your data in the cloud, and maintain compliance while streamlining processes to save time and money. Features like Advanced Threat Protection and Advanced Security Management help reduce risk and lessen the time it takes to identify and respond to a breach. Other capabilities like Advanced eDiscovery and Customer LockBox help customers stay compliant.

Defining the Partner Opportunity

Alym says “The security market is growing because customers clearly want to be protected.” For partners, there are really three opportunities to deepen customer engagements and drive revenue with Office 365.

Upsell

If you’re selling Exchange Online, there’s a real upsell opportunity for partners to provide Advanced Threat Protection as well. The configuration is simple, and is available for both on premise and cloud-based customers. Customer LockBox is another easy add-on that helps customers meet their compliance needs.

Managed Services

There are a couple new capabilities that are clear opportunities to expand your managed services portfolio. The first is Advanced Security Management, which provides enhanced visibility into what’s happening in the system, which is accomplished through innovative threat detection and control. Also available are solutions to deal with eDiscovery, which provides managers with the ability to quickly identify what data is relevant to an investigation through data analytics and predictive coding. This helps lower both customer costs and risk.

Build Solutions

Building and extending solutions on top of Office 365 is where we have seen some really exciting partner opportunities to provide additional value. Customers want custom dashboards for enhanced visualization and monitoring. Partners are creating custom workflows that help automate manual activities like ticket filing and proactively handling threats.

Delivering on Customer Needs

Microsoft developed Office 365 with very real customer concerns in mind and with a commitment to providing a world class, enterprise grade service. That commitment manifests itself in how we build privacy, transparency, security, and compliance into Office 365.

There are a wide variety of features within Office 365 that work together to make the user experience more reliable and secure. They are built-in to address real and critical privacy and cybersecurity needs from a customer perspective. Some key privacy and security considerations that can and should inform customer decisions when choosing a cloud service provider (CSP) include:

  • Secure data centers
  • Data encryption
  • No data mining or access for advertising purposes
  • Regular data back-ups
  • In-region data hosting
  • Enforcement of “hard” passwords
  • Customer control of privacy features
  • An overall commitment to data security

Microsoft has a strong commitment to building customer trust, and delivers on those considerations, and more.

“For me more than anything why I’m in this business and why I love what I do, if we do our job right I get to help participate in making the world a safer place.”

– Alym Rayani, Director of Office 365 Security

Our partners are critical to creating a more secure digital environment, from selling to deploying those security solutions in the real world. Together we can provide a more protected and insightful user experience.

Have you helped drive customer success through building or managing these cutting edge security offerings? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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