Office 365 can hide a multitude of sins. Now there’s absolution, with Defence365
Most enterprises have made significant investments in cloud technology because of the advantages SaaS offers: high-quality user experience, agility and scalability, and the ability to work anywhere. There’s also the considerable reduction in maintenance and upkeep costs of on-premises software and associated hardware.
The cloud is a crucial component in any organisation’s digital transformation, but the greater flexibility cloud services offer creates higher risks, too — risks that often go unnoticed until a service outage, a drop in the quality of audio or video conferencing, or even a security incident such as loss of data or a successful phishing attempt.
Those issues occur because cloud service providers can’t offer every one of their customers tailored offerings that support a business’s unique needs and attributes. And here is where third-party providers can both fill the gaps, and extend the cloud’s range of functionality, improving its safety, reliability, quality and uptime.
Let’s take as an example Office 365 (O365), a platform used by over 1.4 million organisations all over the world, with around 185 million individual users. Its capabilities for the agile business are hugely positive, offering seamless working models that leverage technology like collaborative working, shared file stores, email, messaging, conferencing and much more — all via an interface that covers the desktop, mobile and web in ways that users are happy to use and explore.
But while O365 provides a range of security features — like spam protection within EOP (Exchange Online Protection) — that are proven to save time and cost significantly, the latest attack techniques can frequently get through the net: account takeover, CEO fraud, and highly targeted phishing campaigns, for example.
There are also security concerns caused by users being free to share sensitive data, often without the type of granular controls that security and compliance teams would previously have mandated. Those teams’ concerns are exacerbated by Microsoft’s O365 implementation guidelines that strongly advise direct internet connection to its SaaS. That means bypassing some internal security measures such as proxies and gateways; measures that are usually highly tuned to the organisation’s working practices and security policies.
Finally, there’s the issue of service quality and uptime. While O365 is provided with an SLA that guarantees 99.9 percent uptime (the 0.1 percent is for scheduled maintenance downtime), it’s unplanned outages that inevitably occur at the most inconvenient times that can negatively affect productivity. And when the service is up, there are no guarantees that the speed and quality of connections will be up to scratch: audio or video conferences could be affected by stammering connections, digitally-mangled speech, and lost video connections.
For complete protection, continuous availability and therefore sustained productivity, organisations have to look for a third-party supplier, and here the Defence365 solution from Censornet takes an uncompromising approach. Instead of suffering from downtime with no email, outages are eradicated with an Emergency Inbox and compliant (tamper-proof) Email Archive. That means users have access to email even if the worst happens.
Like the Microsoft platform, the Defence365 solution is a cloud-based SaaS offering. Its unique architecture lets companies use the direct-to-internet connections, in line with Microsoft best practice advice. That creates the best possible user experience with O365 whilst maintaining high levels of security. Defence365 manages access to and activity on the O365 cloud on a granular, per-user level, which gives organisations substantially better control over “data sprawl”, protects the workforce, and crucially, data.
With GDPR now in force, and other local regulations and legislation to adhere to, keeping compliant across all areas of the organisation’s operations is essential. Not only are fines potentially crippling, but the PR fallout from even a minor data breach can be devastating.
The Censornet Defence365 solution provides what’s needed to ensure compliance, and includes comprehensive reporting, analytics and visualisation, and integration into the existing security stack (like SIEM platforms, for example); overall, there’s unrivalled insight into user activity in cloud applications.
As your organisation migrates to O365, or if your organisation has already migrated, considering the fine detail uncovers specific requirements, and therefore the shortfalls of many online platforms. But with Defence365, the Microsoft O365 suite can be deployed without compromising any standards in compliance, security, connectivity, and service quality.
For the granular control your security teams demand and a delightful and safe user experience, explore the materials in the Defence365 Hub. You’ll learn about how the solution can maximise the security and performance of an organisation’s O365 environment, without compromise.
10 September 2020