Security and compliance standards are non-negotiable when managing a company’s data.  Data security matters for every business, and you as a business solution provider (BSP), should capitalize on selling security services to your clients.

Office 365 helps to keep hackers and viruses out and ensures confidential data is seen and accessed only by those you permit. Office 365’s security benefits cover compliance, data policy and data security.

Securing your O365 environment and data is a critical part of moving your client’s workloads to the cloud.  It’s beneficial to work through the process of identifying key elements of your client’s O365 environment to help ensure that their critical data is protected.  A set of clear, proven process and recommendations are available by leveraging Microsoft’s Office 365 Security Assessment Tool (MSAT) available at the download center on the Microsoft website.

BSPs will want to consider cloud usage and adoption along with current security requirements and objectives.  Additionally, it’s important to understand and adhere to the compliance regulations that your organization requires.

While security provided by cloud vendors is often the safest environment to use for BSP’s business, how each of the settings are defined should be evaluated through a cloud security assessment.  MSAT employs a holistic approach to measuring your security posture by covering topics across people, processes and technology. Findings are coupled with prescriptive guidance and recommended mitigation efforts, including links to more information for additional industry guidance. These free resources available from Microsoft will help keep you aware of specific tools and methods that can change the security posture of your IT environment.  The questions identified in the survey portion of the tool and the associated answers are derived from commonly accepted best practices around security, both general and specific.

Managing Mobile Devices

Nearly all businesses deal with a mobile environment, and Office 365 mobile device management tools from Microsoft allow administrators to prevent unauthorized user access by setting up policies that ensure company emails and documents can only be accessed on phones or tablets within your O365 service. If a device is lost or stolen, you can wipe the device clean or only have the company information wiped on an employee-owned device.  In addition to Office 365’s built in security features, BSPs can benefit from custom controls to meet company needs.

Once you have completed your assessment, identified your risks and built a roadmap to securing your Office 365 environment, you’ll want to develop a systematic review process to identify any new issues or concerns to continuously improve the security of your O365 environment.

Can you be sure the information you store in the cloud is safe?  The answer is no, you really can’t.  Cloud security issues span the entire world and data privacy legislation is not able to keep up with the speed of technology changes.  We often forget that the space where we store our information (the Internet) is not actually controlled by us and at this time functions by its own directives.  But, as a Business Solution Provider, it is essential that you take protective measures to tackle the issues of cloud privacy.