Press Release (ePRNews.com) - Houston, TX - Jan 31, 2018 - Houston IT managed services provider (MSP) HighPoint Technology Group (HTG) deepens its investment into the Microsoft Cloud with its Managed Services for Office 365 program. This new service makes sense for the burgeoning service provider as Microsoft Office 365 brings a rich set of features that enable organizations of all sizes to easily manage and administer a broad range of licenses and cloud services including Email, Office Productivity, SharePoint, OneDrive and other services. In fact, it is commonplace for organizations to centralize their file storage for desktops onto Microsoft OneDrive for business and leverage the document management features of SharePoint for collaboration.
“When you combine the amount of data stored in OneDrive and SharePoint with corporate email, much of an organization’s intellectual property and data footprint largely exists in Office 365 making it a critical service that requires the same diligence and thought as other core business systems like a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system” says Joe Janecka, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Houston area MSP. Yet many organizations lack the discipline to implement the native enterprise security controls that are available within the Office 365 platform. HighPoint Technology Group has a new set of services designed to specifically help you get the most out of your Microsoft Office 365 cloud investments.
The Houston managed services provider now supports:
When you combine the amount of data stored in OneDrive and SharePoint with corporate email, much of an organization’s intellectual property and data footprint largely exists in Office 365 making it a critical service that requires the same diligence and thought as other core business systems like a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system
· Two Factor Authentication
· Implementing Activity Monitoring
· Implementing Mobile Device Management
· Email scanning platform
· Advanced Access Controls
· Desktop threat management for OneDrive
· Hybrid Active Director Services
· Secure Messaging
· Security incident monitoring
· Cloud backup
Two-factor authentication requires an additional authentication mechanism after an initial username and password is successfully validated which helps to reduce access and the corresponding damage potential related to compromised user credentials. HTG’s fastest growing service offering helps companies make use of two-factor authentication as a first line of defense in protecting its corporate data in Office 365.
Comprehensive Activity monitoring is the block and tackle of any robust security program and securing Office 365 is no different. With so many different components and modules involved in the most common subscriptions such as MS Office Business Premium or E3, it is important to ensure that fundamental activities are monitored. This includes:
· User Access
· Administrator Activities
· Policy Modifications
· File Access
HTG notes that activities and actions that need to be monitored include login failures and successes, locations, times and IPs related to remote access outside of corporate IPs, user creations and deletions, changes to administrative accounts, audit log configuration changes, external file shares, changes to SharePoint or OneDrive policies, changes to Office 365 SPAM, Malware and Data Leakage Protection (DLP) policies and any changes made to the security and other event logs.
Mobile Device Management
With the demand for mobile computing at an all time high, organizations need to have a practical solution to securing data on mobile, tablet and other handheld devices to ensure that data does not “walk away.” HTG helps organizations make use of the native Mobile Device Management with Office 365 which enables administrators to set security policies for mobile devices, remotely wipe a device if needed and provides fundamental reporting of devices including authentication and some data access logging.
Email Scanning Platform
While Office 365 Exchange Online and MS Outlook provide better than average protection against phishing, malware and other email based threats, it is generally not sufficient to effectively manage all of the threats that try to flood user inboxes on a routine basis. HTG addresses these shortcomings by adding an additional layer of security with Mimecast email scanner and threat management solution. The platform adds robust security features at a minimal extra cost. HTG notes that the investment is generally well worth the return as often times these systems do not even allow the user to see a malicious mail item much less try to access it without administrative privileges.
Advanced Access Control
As with any standard application, data center or network environment, role based security and least privileges are a staple for security administration. HTG will make sure your users have only the access they absolutely need and remove anything they do not have a business reason to access. This includes applications that are licensed but are “not in use” as often times these are the dark areas that get overlooked but could have profound access consequences if left unmitigated.
Desktop Threat Management for OneDrive
Though not necessarily an Office 365 security configuration, OneDrive synchronization becomes at-risk when malicious files are allowed to be synchronized to the server. This is particularly troublesome for Zero-day ransomware viruses and malware which can spread rapidly and lay ruin quickly to corporate networks. HTG will ensure endpoints are protected and constantly kept up to date with a centralized threat management solution helps to lessen the likelihood of these malicious file reaching OneDrive as it will get caught in local quarantine or stopped immediately upon access.
Hybrid Active Directory Services
When implemented in conjunction with standard Windows Active Directory Services, Azure Active Directory gives you all of the flexibility and group policy functionality that can be applied to users without them needing to use a VPN. HTG’s assists customers with Single Sign-On (SSO) and other functionality that is natively available to ensure a consistent authentication experience and when combined with Two-Factor or Multi-factor authentication, leads to a secure data environment within Office 365.
One of the most exposed and most often overlooked areas of data security is email. Users constantly send sensitive data without encryption which leaves that data vulnerable to attack. Information relating to financials, product designs, customer lists, competitive intelligence patent information and other corporate data assets are routinely sent via corporate email and to third parties such as law firms, development or teaming partners and subsidiaries, largely without taking into account the sensitivity of that data. Fortunately, HTG’s Office 365 and Exchange Online supports secure messaging which will encrypt all email data and ensure it is read by only the intended recipient. Users can also enforce Do Not Forward and while administrators can apply other Digital Rights Management (DRM) policies based on the targeted recipient or the contents of the message being sent. Look to an external mail tool if you want to add an additional layer of heuristics monitoring to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as addresses, social security numbers, personnel files and other sensitive data that you may not want to be shared via email at all.
If you have ever read the SLA’s Microsoft provides on Office 365, they do not exactly provide a high degree of comfort. While catastrophic incidents are rare, it is still your responsibility to backup your data and have a sound restore strategy. The tools within 365 are insufficient to overcome a major data center failure, so you will need to look elsewhere for this functionality. The great thing is that there are several capable solutions that can meet this need and most are quite affordable and offered in the same per user per month style pricing model, so just build in the cost of a third party tool just as you would a normal backup solution for Exchange, SharePoint, File Servers and the like, and not only can you have piece of mind, but often it is still cheaper than using a traditional enterprise backup software.
Managed Services Pricing
Similar to the Office subscription itself, HTG’s pricing is priced per user and ranges from $2.50 per user up to $25 per user depending on the subscription and the support levels required for the organization.
HighPoint Technology Group’s Office 365 support services are rich in capabilities that will transform the way organizations protect their enterprise data in the cloud. Using diligence, native features and a handful of small bolt-on packages, HTG customers are assured your Office 365 instance is secure, reliable and has a path to recovery in the event of a catastrophic failure. If your organization lacks the internal skillsets to adequately protect your environment or you would like more information on the Office 365 service offering please visit http://www.gohighpoint.net/
HighPoint Technology Group