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Customer Lockbox for Office 365 Coming Soon

Microsoft announced that its Customer Lockbox and Advanced eDiscovery tools for Office 365 will arrive on Dec. 1.

The company announced the pending release as part of yesterday's broad initiative outlined by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to build out the Operational Security Graph and plans to invest $1 billion per year in security alone for Azure, Office 365 and Windows.

Scott Charney, corporate vice president for Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing, revealed the Customer Lockbox feature for Office 365 in his keynote address at the annual RSA Conference in San Francisco earlier this year. Customer Lockbox ensures that Microsoft employees cannot access customer data or content without their explicit permission. At the time it was announced, Microsoft said the Customer Lockbox feature would be enabled for Exchange Online by year's end and for SharePoint Online in the first quarter of 2016.

If Microsoft needs to access Office 365 content in its datacenters, Customer Lockbox puts in place an approval process, allowing them to approve or reject it. Microsoft engineers will be unable to access the data until the request is approved, according to Microsoft's description of the service. "The lockbox gives you the capability to secure your data, to encrypt your data and give only key access when required," Nadella said in yesterday's speech.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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