2020 Vision: Adapting Security for Office 365 Collaboration

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As we all [thankfully] get ready to bid adieu to 2020, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the paradigm shift that has occurred in how we did business this year.

Despite ongoing and steady cloud adoption, the enterprise perimeter was still highly prevalent pre-2020, with large office spaces remaining a hub for day-to-day operations and collaboration. Then it all changed due to the pandemic. Organizations had to move quickly to broadly embrace remote work environments as they sought to maintain business continuity and trade. Of course, this meant that the enterprise perimeter further lost its relevance, and at a faster pace than ever imagined.

Seemingly overnight, and on a previously unseen scale, security practices needed to be refreshed to further accommodate this new way of life and distributed business.

With leading cloud collaboration tools like Office 365 paving the path in adapting to the “new normal” of remote work and collaboration – independent of device, perimeter, or location – the table for this broader security discussion was set. Office 365 has emerged as a leading enabler based on its wide range of productivity and communications capabilities, From Outlook to Teams, to OneDrive and SharePoint, Office 365  allows organizations to closely collaborate via email, shared documents, and chat channels, ultimately ensuring cohesive business operations.

Yet, while Office 365 is a powerful productivity enhancer and offers a range of native security controls, it also generates a wider set of cloud security and data protection implications. The platform’s highly varied and dynamic collaboration capabilities present an almost endless array of data security and compliance requirements.

As a result, security practitioners tasked with providing support for Office 365 remote collaboration have to ask themselves key questions including:

 

  • Are my organization’s Office 365 email, applications, and user accounts secured against both internal and external threats?
  • Do we have visibility into the content that is being uploaded, downloaded, and shared in my organization’s Office 365 email and applications?
  • Are the sensitive assets in my organization’s instance of Office 365 classified and protected with DLP and encryption?

How do you secure data in Office 365?

To secure data in Office 365, let us look at these critical steps that cover the path of data across the entire breadth of the Office 365 suite:

How Can CipherCloud help organizations implement these 7 critical steps?

CipherCloud CASB+ provides an integrated platform approach to an organization’s Office 365 email, collaboration, and infrastructure security requirements, delivering full CASB functionality including applications usage, data discovery, data protection, compliance, and threat prevention – offering the full breadth of capabilities needed to actively secure use of the Office 365 suite.

Key elements of the CASB+ approach specifically address:

  1. Coverage: An attribute-based policy engine that inspects data in any mode – API, proxy, and email, providing extensive coverage across all Office 365 collaboration scenarios.
  2. Discovery: A comprehensive audit of data in the cloud to identify and classify sensitive information and enforce remediation to preserve data integrity and compliance.
  3. Adaptive Access: “Zero Trust” access to applications and resources residing in Office 365 environments from any user, any device, and any location, with automated remediation.
  4. Data Classification: Classify, scan, and secure sensitive data across multiple Office 365 applications (including email), users, and devices – securing intellectual property and other protected information from unintended data exposure.
  5. Download Protection: Take control over your data, regardless of where it is being shared. Decryption key revocation and retraction of access in real-time to protect sensitive data on lost or stolen devices.
  6. Threat Protection: Monitor user activity to identify anomalous behavior and threats through UEBA. Integrate with AVAM solutions to scan all inbound and outbound cloud content to defend against infected content on the fly.
  7. Posture Management: Get centralized visibility into all Office 365 security requirements, performing an automated assessment and remediation against industry best practices through SSPM

Here’s hoping that 2021 brings a different kind of change!

For more information, download our whitepaper on “Securing Office 365 and the Cloud for Financial Services Practitioners”.

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