A recent AIIM study found that every 18 months, a corporation doubles the amount of data that it has in its environment (AIIM, Information Management – 2016 and Beyond). But a large percentage of organizations – 45 percent – report that they lack data governance, leaving them open to litigation and data security risks. Add to that the expanding number of data sources, data types, and evolving industry standards, and it becomes clear that customers need better solutions for managing the explosive growth in electronic data.
New capabilities added to Office 365 in April, Office 365 Advanced Data Governance and Office 365 Threat Intelligence, will reduce risk and manage liability for the enterprise. These capabilities are included in Secure Productive Enterprise E5 and Office 365 Enterprise E5. Understanding how to talk about these capabilities, and the value they offer customers, is important for every partner. And, there are new opportunities to consider for your practice. I’ll cover these and other Office 365 security-related updates in the May 4 partner call.
Office 365 Threat Intelligence
Office 365 Threat Intelligence gathers data from around the world to provide administrators insight into the global threat landscape and risks to organizations. It analyzes signals from the Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph, which combines information on the billions of emails, user activities, and devices that compose the global Microsoft network to provide organizations with visibility into the global threat landscape. Microsoft couples this breadth and depth of information with AI capabilities to remove the noise from this signal and deliver rich insights into how global threats may impact an organization.
The Threat Intelligence dashboard provides a clear look into prospective threats to a specific organization, helping that organization determine where to focus to defend against these evolving threats in real time, resulting in a proactive security posture. Threat Intelligence integrates seamlessly with other Office 365 security capabilities like Exchange Online Protection and Advanced Threat Protection, so you’ll be able to see analysis, including the top targeted users, malware frequency, and security recommendations related to your business. Customers are asking for more information and better insights into threats – the Threat Intelligence dashboard will enhance the solutions you can offer.
Video: Office 365 Threat Intelligence overview
Office 365 Advanced Data Governance
The volume of data every organization creates means that organizations are struggling to simply keep up, and they often end up keeping everything. This makes it hard to quickly find data or know if sensitive information is being compromised. In order for organizations to be compliant, stay agile, and minimize risk, they require intelligent cloud services that keep employees productive as data grows. Office 365 Advanced Data Governance applies intelligence to automate data retention, making it easier to keep the data that are important, and delete what’s not needed any longer, limiting a company’s risk in the event of a data breach or a lawsuit. Advanced Data Governance uses machine-assisted insights to help meet organizational compliance import, find, classify, set policies, and take action on the data that is most important to an organization. High-value content across Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Skype for Business is efficiently protected as long as necessary, based on an organization’s policies or on legal requirements.
Demo Office 365 Advanced Data Governance for your customers as a differentiator. Partners working with customers in the legal industry and eDiscovery space in particular should use Advanced Data Governance to enhance their data management practices.
Video: Office 365 Advanced Data Governance overview
The partner opportunity
Security is a top concern for every business, but many lack the in-house expertise and resources to handle today’s threats. These customers are receptive to partners who can assess vulnerabilities and deploy a broad range of security solutions, especially solutions that provide a demonstrable and immediate return on investment. Microsoft security solutions can provide you with a competitive advantage.
Partners are evolving their managed service offerings into managed security offerings. In a previous blog post, I covered Office 365 Secure Score, a tool that can assist you in security assessments, making the process easier and more graphical. Assessments with remediation plans and roadmaps can help you land new customer accounts and can open other opportunities with existing clients.
Advanced Data Governance can help classify data for customers migrating to Office 365. Existing policy templates can be used, or partners can configure custom templates, applying their compliance expertise. Threat Intelligence is integrated with Advanced Threat Protection, so partners can use it as part of a managed security services engagement to see which users have the most attacks, then provide remediation plan to fix the issues. Partners can also provide new experiences for clients or their own management of a portfolio of partners by integrating with the Management Activity API. Threat Intelligence adds an additional feed to this management API.
Demonstrate these new capabilities – Threat Intelligence, Advanced Data Governance, and Advanced Threat Protection – to show prospects and customers how Office 365 E5 offers an integrated solution that can help them better identify and address security vulnerabilities. Many customers don’t have the time to try to understand it or can’t afford a full-time-resource, and therefore need professional support for governance and risk management. They turn to experienced partners to lower upfront barriers and get products in and running in their own environment.
Community call about new Office 365 security and compliance capabilities on Thursday, May 4
We’ll go into more detail about Office 365 Threat Intelligence and Office 365 Advanced Data Governance, and also cover updates to Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection, in the Office 365 and Voice Partner call on May 4. Sign up to join me on this call and learn more about these capabilities and the exciting opportunities they present for partners.