Microsoft Office 365 Gets MDM Boost - InformationWeek

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3/30/2015
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Microsoft Office 365 Gets MDM Boost

Mobile device management becomes generally available in Office 365 to meet growing need for secure mobile productivity.

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Microsoft is announcing the general availability of mobile device management (MDM) capabilities for Office 365. Customers of all Office 365 commercial plans, including Enterprise, Business, Education, and Government, can receive the built-in MDM features at no additional cost.

The news arrives a few months after Microsoft brought built-in mobile device management to Office 365 in October 2014. Now, users can manage their access to data within Office 365 across phones and tablets running on iOS, Android, or Windows. 

Security plays a big role in the Office 365 MDM strategy, and Microsoft has implemented three key capabilities to help keep data secure. These include:

  • Device management: Management of multiple security policies, such as PIN lock and jailbreak detection, to protect corporate email and data from unauthorized users in the event a device is lost or stolen. Additional settings and reporting provide insight on who might be reading corporate information.

[11 Life-changing Shortcuts for Office 2013]

  • Conditional access: The ability to manage security policies on devices that connect to Office 365. This ensures that email and documents kept throughout Office 365 are only accessible on phones and tablets that are managed by the business. Conditional access is only applicable to business applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to ensure simpler processes for administrators.
  • Selective wipe: The ability to remove corporate data stored in Office 365 from an employee device without affecting his or her personal information. Going forward, this will be critical for businesses adopting BYOD policies for phones and tablets.

Employees and corporations seeking further protection may subscribe to Microsoft Intune, a component of the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite, which offers additional device management capabilities for phones, PCs, and tablets. Capabilities include the option to restrict actions, such as copy and paste, to applications solely managed by Intune to enhance security of business data.

"The pivot of managing Office via Intune is a big (and really proactive) step for the industry," wrote Microsoft corporate VP Brad Anderson in a blog post. "This enables the workforce to utilize the apps they love, while preventing data leakage -- and it empowers IT teams to constantly improve and streamline the services they deliver while maintaining strict security."

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 10:24:07 PM
Re: MDM
Not available! I'm a little surprised. I thought it was open already. Who would they Sell it to? There are not many buyers for such poduct lines.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 9:30:13 PM
Re: MOM.
@nasimson,

The cloud is their main target now since that's the new shiny thing for most consumers. But it's needed if they want to make their products & services appear to evolve.
tzubair
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50%
tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 5:21:52 AM
Re: MDM
@naimson: The fact that Google has not made the next leap towards making Google Docs platform available on mobile does intrigue me a lot. I wonder what could be the reason behind it. Perhaps they're not looking to invest in the product further and might be looking to sell it off.
tzubair
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50%
tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 5:20:35 AM
Re: Same Old
"  Until the debut high profile crack reveals how easy it continues to be to  penetrate MS's weak security, that is."

@asksqn: I think there might be intial security glitches or lapses but I don't think in the long run there will be an overall security failure. I think Microsoft isn't as notorious when it comes to security and I think they'd be doing a fairly good job with it. 
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 12:43:26 AM
Re: MOM.
@pcharles09: My only worry would be if later Microsoft does not change its strategy and add a few exclusive features for its own windows OS. A pure cloud strategy wont allow it, but microsoft is not bound to follow a pure cloud strategy.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 8:08:45 PM
Re: MOM.
@nasimson,

Smart move by MSFT. Many O365 users had to use 3rd party MDM tools. Now it'll make management a little easier. Who knows how much better the built in MDM will be compared to Good or Airwatch?
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 6:44:38 PM
MDM
This is the edge that Microsoft Has gotten over Google Docs and other Office suites. If Microsoft plays it well, they can win it big time. A while back we were looking for an MDM and could not find a good option. Glad to know there are more options.
asksqn
50%
50%
asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
3/30/2015 | 4:29:52 PM
Same Old
This is all very exciting news for the MS market.  Until the debut high profile crack reveals how easy it continues to be to  penetrate MS's weak security, that is.
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