Since launching in 2011 Microsoft Office 365 has become the pinnacle of cloud services. At Planet IT we are seeing 70% of Microsoft licence renewals moving to Office 365 and nearly all new customers entering straight onto the platform. The scalability of the platform provides flexibility and diversity in the ways it enables you and your business workforce to operate. But this comes at a cost: security.

Users now allow data to exist on devices we would never have previously considered allowing it to reside on, prior to the mass shifts towards a more dynamic workforce. The biggest and every growing IT security risk area is e-mail. Thanks to the ease of connectivity that Office 365 provides people are connecting multiple devices, which invariably run on different software platforms, accessing e-mail via different applications. They all feature different security settings, known vulnerabilities and inherent risks and the more devices used the greater the risk.

For example, users using either iOS or Android devices and the built-in mail client, can download to their device all the data that is held on the corporate system. From a compliance point of view this is a nightmare. If, say, the HR Manager of a company had synced all their e-mail history to their phone and they leave it on a train, potentially all the e-mails could be hacked. Even if the data is not taken, they would still have ‘lost’ the data and must report it to the ICO under the requirements of GDPR. At this point they would have lost complete control of the data on the device.

With different versions of Android comes different security levels and authentication methods, this again begins to open the void in security measures as you look from device to device. Without any form of uniformity across platforms, devices and applications your base risk level increases massively and positions your business is a risky position.

Our recommendation to all our Office 365 customers and anyone who is using the platform is make the move as an organisation to using Microsoft Outlook Mobile application. It can be downloaded from the App Store in iOS or the Play Store on Android. The application is specially designed to protect you and your data with features built in to the system like; secondary authentication, containerisation and encryption.

These features put a natural break between the native device and your data, providing the extra layer of protection your data needs. The application is specifically designed with protecting e-mail on mobile devices in mind, removing the risks and offering a familiar interface for all of us who use Microsoft Outlook or Office 365 Outlook web app daily. The application mirrors nearly all the other features you see in Outlook on your desktop really enabling it to act as a productivity tool rather than being another obstacle to efficient working.

Not on Office 365 or interested in finding out more? Call Planet IT today and speak to one of our Microsoft Office 365 experts who can help guide you.