Lockbox for SharePoint Online and OneDrive Arriving in Q2 2016

Microsoft has updated its timeline for rolling out Lockbox for SharePoint and OneDrive – the service will be arriving in Q2 of 2016.

Microsoft’s objective with Lockbox is to ensure there is 100% transparency with any access to your data by a Microsoft engineer.  In the vast majority of cases, management tasks are fully automated and therefore no access is ever required.  In the rare event that a Microsoft engineer needs to access your data, Microsoft will now ensure that you approve the request through an automated workflow.

Lockbox is now generally available for Exchange online.  SharePoint and OneDrive will be covered as part of the Q2 update of the feature.

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Microsoft Now Will Ask For Your Explicit Approval to Access Your Office 365 Content

As further protection of your enterprise content, Microsoft has announced that they will ask for your explicit approval in the rare event that a Microsoft engineer needs to access your content.

For the purpose of maximizing data security and privacy for Office 365 customers, we have engineered the service to require nearly zero interaction with customer content by Microsoft employees.  Nearly all service operations performed by Microsoft are either fully automated so there is no human interaction, or the human involvement is abstracted away from Office 365 customer content. As a result, there are very few activities requiring any direct involvement by a Microsoft engineer. But, we didn’t want to stop there. We are taking the next step by putting the customer in explicit control over access to their content in the very rare instances when a Microsoft engineer does to log into the Office 365 service.

This new capability, Customer Lockbox for Office 365, provides unprecedented customer control over content residing in Office 365, so customers can be assured that their content will not be accessed by Microsoft employees without their explicit approval. It brings customers into the access approval loop, requiring the customer to provide explicit approval of access to their content by a Microsoft employee for service operations. The Customer Lockbox feature will be enabled in Office 365 for Exchange Online by the end of this year, and for SharePoint Online in the first quarter of 2016.

In addition, all these requests will be available to customers via the Office 365 Management Activity Logs.

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