Microsoft boosts security in Outlook and OneDrive



Microsoft is increasing the levels of security in some of their major products, reinforce legal protections and increase transparency.

In a blog post today Microsoft's Matt Thomlinson, Vice President, Trustworthy Computing Security, outlined a number of encryption measures the company has undertaken to help customers increase the security of their communications and data. He also talked about Microsoft’s efforts to reinforce legal protections and increase transparency in how they engage with governments around the world.

We are in the midst of a comprehensive engineering effort to strengthen encryption across our networks and services. Our goal is to provide even greater protection for data across all the great Microsoft services you use and depend on every day. This effort also helps us reinforce that governments use appropriate legal processes, not technical brute force, if they want access to that data.

In his post he outlined three key elements:

First, Outlook.com is now further protected by Transport Layer Security, or TLS, encryption for both outbound and inbound email. This means that when you send an email to someone, your email is encrypted and thus better protected as it travels between Microsoft and other email providers. Of course, this requires their email service provider to also have TLS support. 

Over the past six months, we have been working across the industry to further protect and help ensure your mail remains protected. This includes working closely with several international providers throughout our implementation, including, Deutsche Telekom, Yandex and Mail.Ru to test and help ensure that mail stays encrypted in transit to and from each email service. I'd like to thank each of these companies and the community for the hard work they've put in, and for making this additional engineering investment a priority.

In addition to the availability of TLS, Outlook.com has also enabled Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) encryption support for sending and receiving mail between email providers. Forward secrecy uses a different encryption key for every connection, making it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections. 

Second, OneDrive has now enabled PFS encryption support as well. OneDrive customers now automatically get forward secrecy when accessing OneDrive through onedrive.live.com, our mobile OneDrive application and our sync clients.

Third, I’m pleased to announce that today we opened the first Microsoft Transparency Center, on our Redmond, Wash. campus. Our Transparency Centers provide participating governments with the ability to review source code for our key products, assure themselves of their software integrity, and confirm there are no “back doors.” 

Security and transparency are ongoing processes for everyone and Microsoft is at least making an effort to protect people’s data and privacy.

You can read the complete blog post here.

 



Guy Wright

Guy Wright has been covering the technology space since the days when computers had cranks and networks were steam powered. He has been a writer and editor for many of the most influential publications over the years – publications that helped shape our current technological zeitgeist. He has lost count of the number of articles, blogs, reviews, rants, and books that he has published over the years, but he hasn’t stopped learning and writing about new things.