Office 365 email data at rest now encrypted

A while back I wrote a blog post about how I’d found that Office 365 data at rest was not encrypted. However, according to this newly released document:
Security in Office 365 White paper – http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=26552
It says:
Encrypted Data
Customer data in Office 365 exists in two states: at rest on storage media and in transit from datacenter over a network to a customer device. All email content is encrypted on disk using BitLocker 256-bit AES Encryption. Protection covers all disks on mailbox servers and includes mailbox database files, mailbox transaction log files, search content index files, transport database files, transport transaction log files, and page file OS system disk tracing/message tracking logs.
So it now appears that Microsoft has implemented an additional level of security on client’s data, which is great news! Now if they could only do the same for SharePoint, but I am sure it is coming soon.

Outlook Web App browser offline settings

One of the things you can now do with the version of Outlook via a browser (Outlook Web App) is actually take it offline in a browser. All the details can be found here:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/support/using-outlook-web-app-offline-HA102828007.aspx

However to enable all you basically need to do is open your Outlook Web Access

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In top right of the window select the cog icon.

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From the menu that appears select Offline Settings.

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Then simply select Turn on offline access.

What else do I need to know (from article)?

Offline access may not make all of your email and calendar information available offline. Some of the available features and limitations are:

  • The last few days of messages. Supported folders include Inbox, Drafts, and any folders viewed within the last few days, up to 20 folders. If you’ve viewed more than 20 folders in the last few days, the most recent 18 plus Inbox and Drafts will be available.
  • In each folder that’s available offline, you will see three days of content, or 150 items, whichever is larger.
  • Attachments aren’t available when offline.
  • The previous month and future year of your calendar.
  • A limited set of upcoming calendar reminders. If you’re offline for a long period of time, calendar reminders will stop working until you go online and Outlook Web App can download current information.
  • Only your primary Calendar will be available offline.
  • All the items in your Contacts folder, plus any people that you email often and any that you’ve emailed recently.
  • Offline access doesn’t include archived folders, Team folders, tasks, or Favorites.
  • You can’t search for or sort items in your mailbox when offline, and the built-in filters won’t work when you’re offline.

You have to enable offline access on each computer that you want to be able to use Outlook Web App on when not connected to a network.

Offline access for Outlook Web App is designed for portable computers such as laptops and notebooks. It can’t be enabled in browsers on smaller devices, such as tablets and smartphones.

Your web browser determines where on your computer the offline information is stored and how much space it can use. If your offline information won’t fit in the space that’s been set aside, you may be prompted to increase it. If the space can’t be increased, less of your information will be available when you’re offline.

CIAOPS Podcast–Episode 52


In this podcast Mitch Garvis about Windows Intune.
You can listen to this podcast and subscribe to the series at:
http://ciaops.podbean.com/2013/05/15/episode-51-mitch-garvis/
You can support this podcast via http://donation.ciaops.com
Don’t forget all the other previous podcasts at
http://ciaops.podbean.com
and appreciate a like over at
http://www.facebook.com/n2kpodcast.
Remember if you want to be a guest please contact me (director@ciaops.com).

Desktop to Cloud day this Saturday

This Saturday the 18th of May at North Ryde RSL Club from 8.30am I will be conducting the Desktop to Cloud Day 2013.

The event brings together key speakers to talk about the best technologies from both ends of the technology spectrum. If you want to see the full agenda then you can download it at:

http://www.ciaops.com/storage/d2c13/agenda.pdf

You can of course still register for the day at:

http://d2c13.eventbrite.com.au/

Entry includes access to all sessions, meals and refreshments, WiFi access, on site parking and more.

I look forward to meeting you on the day.

Replacement for Microsoft Speed test

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A while ago there was a tool known as Microsoft Sped Test (www.microsoftspeedtest.com) but for some unknown reason it is no longer operational. It was a great way to get an indication of the speeds from a desktop to the Office 365 data centres.

So, now what can you use? The solution is the Lync Online Transport Reliability IP Probe (TRIPP) tool that can be found at:

Just choose your closest data centre and plug in the URL to your browser. You’ll need to have Java on your machine to run the variety of tests available.

One of the tests (shown above, on the speed tab) allows you to do what Microsoft Speedtest used to do.

I’d strongly recommend you spend the time getting to know this tool as it provides a lot of information and is invaluable in troubleshooting issues with Office 365 in my experience.

Deleted items is NOT for email archiving

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One of the really bad email habits that I see people adopt is using their Deleted Items folder as an archive. The belief would seem to be that it is an ‘easy’ way to archive because it only takes a single keystroke (i.e. the Delete button) to ‘archive’ the email.

Because most on premise mail servers never enforced a retention policy (i.e. how long emails are kept) people were not penalized for their bad habits. However, in the world of Office 365 things are a little different. Let me illustrate this with an example.

After a user recently moved to Office 365 they were shocked to find that their ‘email filing system’ (i.e. their Deleted Items folder) had been emptied. Where was it? Why had it been emptied? How do you get it back? Panic! etc , etc, etc.

The reason those emails were removed is that by default Office 365 has a number of default email retention policies in place. One of these is that:

By default, in Exchange Online, the retention period for deleted items is 14 days. The retention period starts when the item deleted is moved to the Recoverable Items folder. After 14 days, items in the Deletions subfolder are automatically moved to the Purges subfolder.

From – http://help.outlook.com/en-au/140/hh125820.aspx

Thus, 14 days after migrating to Office 365 the deleted items folder will be emptied by default. Then 14 days after that the deletions are then sent to purges where they remain for another 14 days. After that they are permanently removed from Exchange Online, i.e. bye, bye filing system. The best way to understand all this is look at:

http://help.outlook.com/en-au/140/hh125820.aspx

Can the default retention policy be changed? Yes, but probably an easier way is simply NOT to use Deleted Items as an email archive. Create another folder and drag and drop the ‘email filing system’ there to ensure it is always retained! Deleted Items is designed for exactly what it is called! Deleted Items!

You can read more on Office 365 retention policies and tags here:

http://help.outlook.com/en-ca/140/gg271153.aspx