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Security boosts for Office 365 and Azure

by Sanjay Mittal on October 10th 2014

Microsoft looks to the public cloud at TechEd 2014

The champion of the private cloud server and hybrid business data solution has turned its gaze skyward for 2014, tackling the security challenges raised by the increasingly complex technological landscape. In particular, security for Microsoft Office 365 and Azure will receive a substantial boost, with new anti-malware and encryption both highlighted at the industry conference in Houston.

New Azure features

Azure, its public cloud infrastructure for enterprise, continues to mature into a solution businesses can realistically use and trust, particularly in situations where on-site and cloud-based storage and communications work together. New features due soon or already previewing include an Azure Remote App to make the user’s desktop available on mobile devices, Azure Files for virtual file sharing and Azure Express Route, a new secure private communications network for hybrid environments. The new Anti-malware for Azure is designed for deployment in the cloud and on virtual machines, and features Symantec and Trend Micro anti-malware agents like Deep Security and SecureCloud. There will also be extended data-loss protection for Sharepoint and OneDrive business users.

Better Office 365 encryption

Improved security for Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business will include brand new encryption technology. While files currently have one key per drive, the new solution will supply a unique encryption key for every single file, and for each subsequent update. Instead of being stored together, the solution makes the most of the security potential offered by the vast shared resources in the cloud: files will be distributed across several Azure storage containers, with the file map itself also encrypted, and keys stored in another separate location. The exciting new encryption technology, currently in development under the code-name Fort Knox, will be rolled out from July 2014.

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