New Office 365 Security Capabilities Help Customers Stay Safe of Breaches

Several new capabilities in Office 365 helping you manage risk and stay ahead of threats including: "Secure Score, Threat Intelligence Private Preview, and Advanced Data Governance Preview" introduced.

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Microsoft on Friday introduced several new features in Office 365 aimed at helping customers manage security risks and stay ahead of potentially devastating breaches.

Office 365 Secure Score, is a new security analytics tool that applies a score to Office 365 customers' security configurations. Here's how it works:

Secure Score Summary displays Secure Score and provides access to view Score Analyzer.

"Secure Score, the numerator, is the sum of the points associated with security configurations that you have partially or fully adopted," explains Office team. Adding, "total score, the denominator, is the sum of the points associated with all the security controls that are available to you through your Office 365 plan," team said.

Score Analyzer graph shows Secure Score on any date including: specific actions completed and which actions were available. Score results can also be exported to a CSV file.

In addition, Secure Score also provides possible actions that you can take to improve security position. "Highly effective actions with low level of user impact are placed at the top, followed by less effective actions that are more impactful to users."

The list of the actions can be filter with criteria such as those that have low end user impact or that apply to user accounts.

In this example, the Secure Score is 130 out of 273 points possible:

Secure Score showing Score Summary
Secure Score showing Score Summary
Score Analyzer graph showing Secure Score over time.
Score Analyzer graph showing Secure Score over time

For more information, watch the video below on Score Analyzer graph showing the Secure Score over time:

Office 365 Threat Intelligence Private Preview, is a service that leverages Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph to analyze billions of data points to provide actionable insights on global threats, provides near real-time insight into the global threat landscape to help customers stay ahead of cyberthreats.

"The data used to analyzed comes from global datacenters, Office clients, email, user authentications and other incidents that impact Office 365 ecosystem, as well as signals from Windows and Azure ecosystems," team said.

Once the data is analyzed, information about malware families inside and outside a organization, including breach info with details, like how much bitcoin the attackers typically request in ransomware attacks is provided.

In additiion, Threat Intelligence, also seamlessly integrated with Exchange Online Protection and Advanced Threat Protection, and offer analysis like top targeted users, malware frequency and security recommendations related to business.

General availability is planned for later this quarter.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence Dashboard
Office 365 Threat Intelligence Dashboard

Office 365 Advanced Data Governance Public Preview, applies machine learning to help customers find and retain the most important data while eliminating redundant, obsolete and trivial data that could cause risk.

And by leveraging machine learning, it intelligently deliver proactive policy recommendations, classify data based on automatic analysis of factors like the type of data, its age and the users who have interacted with it, and take action, such as preservation or deletion.

Office 365 Secure Score, generally available now to organizations with an Office 365 commercial subscription in the multi-tenant and Office 365 U.S. Government Community clouds.

Office 365 Threat Intelligence and Advanced Data Governance will be generally available by the end of March 2017. It will be included in Office 365 Enterprise E5 plan, as well as in Secure Productive Enterprise E5 offering, Office team said.

In other news, a study by the British Dyslexia Association found that students who used Microsoft's OneNote improved reading comprehension and emotional well-being.

The recent, 11-week study looked at the impact of OneNote on Surface devices for 20 students with dyslexia, attention deficit disorder and other issues that hinder reading, spelling and writing. Students used Immersive Reader, a learning tool in OneNote that narrates text and highlights words.

The study found improvement in spelling and reading fluency and a decrease in stress levels.