A Platform Approach to SaaS Security
Over the past several years, Microsoft Office 365 ® – the cloud-based version of Microsoft’s collaboration suite – has emerged as the company’s cloud juggernaut, with 120 million commercial users at last count. Not content to stop there, the software giant’s stated goal is to move two-thirds of its current Office business customers to the cloud by mid-2019.
The potential downside of the ubiquity of the Office suite – and the skyrocketing adoption of Office 365, in particular – is that it’s now a highly valuable target for cybercriminals. This makes securing your enterprise’s use of Office 365 more critical than ever. Although Microsoft’s security tools and capabilities are a great place to start, many enterprises moving to Office 365 are finding they need more control and even greater visibility and protection across all their cloud applications.
Thinking Beyond the Security Built Into Office 365
What fuels the collaboration, productivity, communications and creativity companies gain from using Office 365? Data – your corporate data, to be exact – which will be created, shared and stored in the cloud within Office 365 applications, such as OneDrive® and SharePoint®. In fact, some reports indicate as much as half of all corporate data is already stored in the cloud.
To secure Microsoft Office 365 applications, Microsoft provides built-in policies, controls and systems. These capabilities are designed to support the security responsibilities for providers of SaaS as defined by the industry-standard shared security model, including physical security, host infrastructure, network controls and application-level controls. In that same model, businesses are responsible for data classification and accountability. Both the SaaS provider – in this case, Microsoft – and your company share responsibilities for identity and access management as well as client and endpoint protection.
For its part, Microsoft offers native Microsoft Office 365 security controls, including:
- Management of user identities, credentials and access rights.
- Data compliance, including archiving, e-discovery and auditing.
- Rights management through Microsoft Azure® to protect Office documents.
Malware detection for automatic protection against spam and malware to meet your company’s shared security responsibilities as well as simplify and enhance security for the Office 365 applications and data your company relies on, a third-party product may be the best choice. Many enterprises choose third-party products to serve security use cases that require:
- Protection for other cloud applications beyond Office 365, enabling the same level of security for all the enterprise’s sanctioned applications, such as Box, Salesforce®, Slack®, ServiceNow ®, Google® G Suite™, JIVE® and others.
- Granular application control and inline visibility across all user and data activity in the cloud.
- Sophisticated data loss prevention, or DLP, capabilities that give enterprises visibility and control over sensitive data in cloud applications to prevent accidental and malicious data loss.
- Advanced threat protection across network, cloud and endpoints to block known and unknown malware.
Greater protection against zero-day malware with discovery and prevention of highly evasive, unknown exploits and malware.
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