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Introduction

Office 365 is Microsoft’s most strategic API, but to realize the potential of the platform, Microsoft and its partners have to convince business and IT leaders that it offers levels of security, privacy, and compliance equal to or higher than those of their on-premise solutions.

Highlights

  • The overarching challenge for the cloud service providers - including Microsoft - is trust. Improving trust will mean business decision makers are more likely to embrace the benefits of cloud computing, such as lower costs, improved scalability, reduced deployment times, and, somewhat ironically, improved information security management.
  • Senior leadership teams are preoccupied with corporate security. Although the management of corporate security is clearly important from a business well-being perspective, it appears to have become a preoccupation, distracting this layer of management from activities that really matter: running the business and moving it forward.
  • The days of IT-controlled device and application provisioning are coming to an end, but employees are often ill-equipped to deal with general information security management issues due to poor or nonexistent IT training. Somewhat ironically, cloud services could mitigate business risks.

Features and Benefits

  • Understand the key issues relating to security, trust, and compliance when adopting cloud-based business collaboration services such as Office 365.
  • Understand the steps being taken by Microsoft and its partners as it seeks to gain the trust and understanding of businesses and institutions.
  • Understand Microsoft's approach to threat management, data sovereignty, and industry compliance.

Key questions answered

  • How does Office 365 help business and IT managers address governance, risk, and compliance issues?
  • What is Microsoft doing to satisfy the audit requirements of governments, institutions, and industry best practice?
  • How can moving collaboration and content management to the cloud enhance corporate privacy controls?
  • What should organizations look out for as the European Union updates privacy legislation?
  • What advantages are there in adopting a hybrid approach to Office 365?

Table of contents

Summary

  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages

Recommendations

  • Recommendations for enterprises

A new opportunity to consider the organization’s information security management position

  • Senior leadership teams are preoccupied with corporate security
  • By necessity, Office 365 security never adopts a steady state
  • Business continuity demands a pragmatic yet thoughtful approach to data sovereignty

Compliance is a matter that binds governments, businesses, and institutions

  • Cloud service providers that are serious about supporting enterprise customers need to meet compliance obligations
  • Office 365 provides an increasing range of in-built compliance capabilities
  • Certification of the Office 365 services stack is important from a compliance perspective
  • By establishing the Trust Center, Microsoft provides additional insight relating to Office 365 compliance practices

Organizations that mishandle privacy matters risk losing the trust of their customers

  • Moving enterprise collaboration to Office 365 could actually increase corporate privacy controls
  • Microsoft will have to keep an eye on changing European data privacy legislation
  • Large enterprises are likely to adopt a hybrid approach to Office 365

Appendix

  • Further reading
  • Author

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