Google, Microsoft serve up security treats for productivity suites

Microsoft and Google today announced a new features for their rival productivity platforms aimed at improving security and reducing its cost of management.

Microsoft announced a trio of Office 365 security features, including a new API to feed data into SIEM systems and finer grain encryption for email, while Google has announced new a way for Drive admins to manage two-factor authentication keys for Google Apps at work.

The new Office 365 Management Activity RESTful API will offer customers new ways to use Microsoft’s platform with security and compliance tools, such as third-party on-premise Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) systems. Broadly, it’s meant to improve capabilities access controls in cloud and BYOD environments.

Microsoft plans to release the API in private preview this June or July but already has dozen partners that have used an early version of the API to develop incident monitoring and alert systems include Palerra and Rapid7.

The API will offer access to 150 transaction types from Office 365 (with more planned in the future), as well as activity logs from SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Azure Active Directory.

Over the next few months Microsoft is also rolling out finer grain “content level” encryption for email in Office 365. This will bring across a similar level of control that per-file encryption introduced for documents in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

“Implementing this feature will increase the separation of server administration from the data stored in Office 365, resulting in an added layer of security,” said Rajesh Jha, principal program manager for the Office 365 Security team.

One milestone it hasn’t achieved yet is giving customers the ability to generate and control their own keys for encrypting content in Office 365. However, Microsoft says this will come in 2016.

It’s also , an approval process for Office 365 admins to handle “rare cases” when Microsoft’s engineers need to access customer content; for example when they’re addressing a support request. Customers can assess requests and approve or deny them.

Read more: YouTube flaw allowed copying comments from one video to another

Customer Lockbox is available now for Office 365 commercial customers and will be available for Exchange Online by the end of 2015 and for SharePoint Online by the Q1 2016.

Google has also been beefing up new security features to Google Apps for Work and Schools and today announced an easier way for Google Apps admins to issue and revoke two-factor authentication keys for access to Google Apps.

Google last year announced Security Key — a physical TFA token based on FIDO Alliance protocol — for secure access to Chrome and Google Account.

It now has large enterprise customers using the Secure Keys, such as Australia’s Woolworths, and the new system will make it easier for it revoke access to lost or stolen keys and provide backup codes where necessary. It’s doing this with new controls in the Admin console of Google Drive for Work within its usage and tracking reports for auditing.

Read more: Google, WordPress, LastPass, Salesforce - new USB token secures them all

As for Microsoft, the Office 365 security feature update follows Microsoft’s renewed push into mobile device management in March with its InTune-based MDM for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices that is free for Office 365 business customers.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftTFARapid7Google Apps at workSecure KeysRESTful APIOneDriveSIEMBYODCustomer LockboxGoogle

More about CSOCustomersEnex TestLabGoogleMicrosoftRapid7Woolworths

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Liam Tung

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place