Office 365 Customer Lockbox feature gives customers last say on Data Access

Major concern over adopting any software service by various business establishments has been the issue of who controls the security of the content well. A new feature unveiled by Microsoft aims to allay much of those fears. Customer Lockbox offers Office 365 commercial users more control over access to their content by Microsoft employees. Precisely, the feature requires the administrators of the subscription to grant Microsoft privileges to service their account.

Office 365 Customer Lockbox

Office 365 Customer Lockbox

If there is any issue with your Office account and you want a Microsoft engineer to investigate the matter, he will need the Lockbox to seek permission for servicing your request. Once, the request is made by the engineer the Office 365 account admin will be given 12 hours to approve the authorization to access the account. If they do not accept the request or let the 12 hours elapse, the engineer will not be able to service the account.

“When the customer gets the request for access, they can scrutinize the request and either approve or reject it. Until the request is approved, the Microsoft engineer will not be granted access”, senior product marketing manager Vijay Kumar and Office 365 security team principal program manager Raji Dani wrote in a blog post.

The latest upgrade will potentially make it tougher for government agencies and law enforcement to secretly have access to the contents of an organization’s e-mail. The new feature will also bring more powerful encryption capability to portions of Office. It already has a number of customer-controlled encryption solutions such as Rights Management, S/MIME and Office 365 Message Encryption.

In the coming months, the company plans to add a similar content level encryption for email in Office 365. Implementing this feature will increase the separation of server administration from the data stored in Office 365, thereby adding an extra layer of security.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in technology and has an immense interest in following Microsoft and other technology developments around the world. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player.