Office 365 & Deep Dish Pizza – Saving your Organization from a Food Coma

How could something so delicious cause Office 365 productivity, security and legal issues?]  Many organizations are unwittingly under attack from poor lunch choices (tasty, but not necessarily good for productivity). Office 365 can’t help you make smarter food selections, but it does have some features that can actually protect your organization from the effects of a pizza-induced food coma.

#1 – Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

People are going to make mistakes. It is unavoidable. Having a written policy that says “thou shalt not send sensitive data in e-mail” is nice and has all those legal perks that organizations need to protect themselves. But what if your HR person had that deep dish pizza for lunch and its effects are clouding his or her judgment? How can you prevent pizza from leading to accidentally emailing a social security number to someone?  Data Loss Prevention (DLP) to the rescue!  With some of the pre-existing templates that look for Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or other patterns, policies can be put into place that give you advanced warning or prevent such accidents from causing indigestion.

#2 – Office 365 Message Encryption (OME)

Great, you now have DLP implemented.  Everyone is gorging on pizza at lunch without fear of accidentally sending sensitive data to others. But what if you really DO want to send that sensitive data to someone? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a secure method to pass along the sensitive data without prying eyes seeing it?  Fortunately, the folks at Microsoft have heard those requests and provide an option to encrypt e-mails in Office 365. This can be combined with the DLP settings you put in place to detect sensitive data and automatically encrypt the message as it leaves your organization.  You can also mark your emails by adding rules such as using the sensitivity settings and flagging them as confidential. Mission accomplished.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) should always be encrypted.

#3 – Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR)

I’m not going to blame pizza for this (never mind, I will), but for whatever reason some end users need their password reset. Frequently. Maybe it is the food coma issue and people just can’t type accurately after a good meal. Regardless, why does IT need to be penalized for someone else’s lunch choice?  Enter the Self-Service Password Reset. This feature allows IT to pre-define requirements for end users so they can reset their password as necessary. Handy for companies that are in the same building as the best pizzeria in the city. Also handy where IT has to support users in different regions of the country or world with different time zones.

Just one more slice…

These are a few features where IT can really start helping their organization by implementing policies and capabilities. With the adoption of Office 365, IT’s role really does change from “I need to worry about the size of my mailbox database” to “my organization has these business objectives, how can I assist?”.  Microsoft is constantly adding new features and capabilities. As an IT admin, you need to understand what features are coming and how they can benefit your organization.

Everyone needs help from time to time, pizza or no pizza.  If you’d like our assistance implementing some of the above features, enhancing your security posture, or need to discuss how to solve some other business issues contact us at info@peters.com or 630.832.075.

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About the Author:

John has been with Peters & Associates for over two decades. Over the years, John has diligently worked on the delivery of solutions matched to organizational business issues. As technologies have evolved, John has adapted skill-sets to continually exceed customer expectations and outcomes. John is a DePaul University alum with a Master’s in Computer Science with minors in Math and Physics. John’s capabilities are validated by industry certifications and accolades including CISSP, CCNP, MCSE, and many others. John has primary mentoring and managerial responsibilities over a dedicated engineering staff. With client satisfaction as a guiding star, John aligns delivery, escalation, consistency, and on-going training to make sure customers receive value day-in, day-out.