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Microsoft announced yesterday they are bringing additional level of security to Office 365 early next year. This new service is called Office 365 Message Encryption.
Thanks to this service, users will be able to send encrypted emails outside their organization. No matter if you are composing a new email, or replying or forwarding an email, all the outgoing emails will be encrypted. Shobhit Sahay, Product Marketing Manager in the Microsoft Exchange team wrote in their official blog, “We’re pleased to announce the upcoming release of Office 365 Message Encryption, a new service that lets you send encrypted emails to people outside your company. No matter what the destination-Outlook.com, Yahoo, Gmail, Exchange Server, Lotus Notes, GroupWise, Squirrel Mail, you name it-you can send sensitive business communications with an additional level of protection against unauthorized access”.
Office 365 Message Encryption is actually a new version of Exchange Hosted Encryption, so it has all EHE’s features plus the news ones such as applying the company’s branding to the encrypted message. It will be included with Windows Azure Rights Management which is a part of E3 and E4 plans, which is why the Office 365 E3 and E4 users will also be able to use this service at no extra costs.
The company’s move is not surprising given the security related attacks targeted towards many high profile companies in the recent years. Other companies who provide secure channel for communications via e-mails include Google who began using HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) initially for few users and eventually made it default for everyone, and Yahoo who also recently began providing users the option to enable HTTPS in their settings.
Office 365 Message Encryption will be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2014, while the existing Exchange Hosted Encryption users will be upgraded to it during the same time-frame.
Photo Credit – Long Zheng/Flickr