Microsoft announces security and privacy improvements for Office 365

By Tom Warren, on 14th Dec 11 2:39 pm with 2 Comments

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that its cloud productivity service, Office 365, is the first and only major cloud-based service to offer security standards across the U.S. and EU.

The software giant has signed the EU’s model clauses which will help attract customers concerned about data protection in the cloud. The protection follows Microsoft’s compliance with the U.S.-mandated Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). “Developing cloud-based productivity tools that meet the needs of European businesses means more than simply building apps in a browser,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president, Microsoft International. “Microsoft has a more complete approach to European data protection and security laws than any other company, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to ensure the widest range of organizations can move to the cloud with confidence — or choose an equally functional on-premises option.”

Microsoft announced the availability of an Office 365 Trust Center on Wednesday to accompany the announcement. The Trust Center provides information on the security of Office 365 and has been designed to make it easy to understand.

Microsoft recently updated Office 365 with new features and expanded the service to 22 new markets. Microsoft’s Office 365, released earlier this year, provides Office 2010, Exchange, SharePoint and Lync all Online in a cloud-based service. The service is a full browser-based solution that incorporates webmail, collaboration and document management. Microsoft’s Office 365 is a strong and competitive answer to Google Apps. Microsoft offers a range of monthly prices for Office 365. Customers can pick between $2 and $27 offerings per user per month. Office 365 will allow businesses to deploy the latest Office software from Microsoft whether it’s on the desktop, online or via the cloud.

  • spragued

    If this is a significant differentiation with Google they should take out full-page ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal in order to hit business decision makers, and not merely dribble the info out via online press releases.

    • Anonymous

      The problem is that it has been publically stated that the CIA and DHS will have access to all data stored with Microsoft and Google regardless of the companies legal committments. The companies are subject to American law no matter what.

      As long as the data is stored in the US *or* on systems owned by American companies it is not “safe” [in terms of European data protection and privacy law].