Filling the security gap when moving to the Office 365 cloud


Office 365 has become the de facto transition solution from traditional on-premise licensing of Office and Exchange to a single cloud-based subscription. However, for many organizations that must comply with increased security regulations (e.g. healthcare, financial services and the public sector), the ability to take advantage of online applications like Office 365 that bring reduced management costs for IT departments was not always an option. Until fairly recently, security solutions such as email encryption that supported electronic discovery and archiving; the flexibility to choose in which jurisdiction data is hosted; and tools that offered data leak prevention (DLP) or integrated with existing DLP systems, were next to non-existent.

Today, Microsoft is actively moving all licenses and renewals to a cloud-based subscription model. This puts many organizations that are still dependent on traditional on-premise infrastructure in a challenging position. Although the cost, time and mobility benefits of the cloud are appealing, without seeing a clear path to support compliance requirements, many organizations are left feeling stuck in a technology gap.

The good news is that there are a new generation of security solutions on the market that are changing the game. Organizations looking to move from their on-premise architecture into the Office 365 cloud without compromising compliance can now do so more easily and cost-effectively than ever. So what should you look for?

Lets users stay in Office 365 and Outlook

While there are a number of encryption and security solutions on the market, products that work seamlessly with Office 365 and Outlook, so that employees don’t have to leave their existing email, will dramatically increase user adoption. With human error being one of the largest contributors to data loss, it’s crucial to ensure employees have tools that are easy to use and allow them to maintain their usual work patterns.

More than just encryption

Encryption is just the point of entry. What most employees and businesses what is greater control over what happens to their email messages – and the ability to fully recall a message sent in error even after it has been opened.

Cirius’ patented “Delivery Slip,” for example, is a key differentiator from other encryption solutions because it brings powerful message control to Office 365. A quick glance at the delivery slip, which is embedded in every secure message, employees know the moment a message they’ve sent is received, read and even deleted by recipients. They can also control whether recipients can reply to or forward their message as well as add an additional password to ensure anyone who may have access to the receiver’s email (like an admin assistant) cannot read it. On top of that, users can share large file attachments of up to 5 GB without overloading inboxes or taxing mail servers.

Support for regulatory compliance

When it comes to moving to the cloud, IT departments need encryption and security solutions that support compliance requirements such as HIPAA, FINRA, Sarbanes-Oxley among others, as well as work with existing IT infrastructure (beyond email). For example, you may have an existing DLP system, so your encryption solution needs to seamlessly work with it. If you don’t have a DLP solution, check to see if your encryption solution enables content scanning and automatic encryption based on your policies.

When it comes to archiving systems, encryption and decryption should also work seamlessly. Avoid key-based encryption platforms, which make it nearly impossible to work with archiving or e-discovery. The challenge with key-based encryption is that every secure email requires a unique encryption and decryption key, which can add up to millions upon millions of security keys.

At Cirius, we’ve worked hard to ensure our product enhances the Office 365 experience – on any device while providing the security necessary for compliance. If you’re thinking of switching to the cloud, why not give us a try? Click here to sign up for a free 30-day trial for your organization.