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Email and file sharing, in my experience, continue to be the most common security obstacles. Firms and organizations purchase additional software to meet this need. Use of the software is often inconsistent, or users ignore the software due to extra steps and lack of training or understanding. However, Microsoft just announced these features would be available in Office 365 (O365).

It is important though that your staff should still receive training to understand when, why and how to use these third-party encryption tools.

Email Encryption

Outlook.com now offers email encryption, which means you can now encrypt email. The recipient will receive a link to a trusted Office site. The trusted site will request entry of a one-time passcode before users can view the email. Recipients using the Outlook app can read and reply normally, no extra steps needed.

According to Microsoft, if you’re using Outlook.com (the Outlook web app), the encrypt option is at the top of the screen when drafting a message.  You should see the ability to encrypt or encrypt and prevent forwarding. However, I do not see this in my O365 subscription. This new feature was announced but has not been rolled out to all O365 tenants yet. I’m looking forward to this feature, and I hope it appears in the Outlook app soon too!

For more information check out his Microsoft support article: Learn about encrypted messages in Outlook.com

Password Protected Sharing Links

OneDrive and Dropbox have many similarities, but the password protected link has been missing from OneDrive. On April 5 Microsoft announced this feature in addition to the already discussed email encryption (Defend yourself from cybercrime with new Office 365 capabilities). However, this too does not seem available for all O365 tenants yet.

But it’s coming, and specifically for the password protected links, it’s been a long wait.

Additional Features

O365 has additional security features coming too. They include file restore that let you restore OneDrive or SharePoint file from catastrophic attaches like ransomware or mass deletes. Another is advanced attachment scanning and link checking. For more information check out this Microsoft article; Office 365 advanced protection.

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Showing 2 comments
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    Scott Feda
    Reply

    Hi John, Thanks for the updated article we are looking forward to this type of sharing. We currently do not allow any access to external users but see the need to prevent users from using third party products like DropBox and others. How can I tell if this this new feature is enabled on my tenant without enabling sharing in Office 365? Also do you know a way to test this new feature by individual users so I can test the functionality and create SOP’s for my users before a sharing “free for all” starts?

    • Accellis Technology Group
      Reply

      Hi Scott, Unfortunately, enabling the feature has to be done through PowerShell. I suggest working with O365 support. When I wrote the post, I thought it was going to be something much easier to do through the Admin UI. This is not the case. I hope this will be easier to enable in the future. But I can’t say since Microsoft is doing a lot more with PowerShell. – John

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