Although Microsoft has been building up Office 365 at a furious rate, the development of its security features haven't kept pace. Enter the Sheriff — or at least Cryptzone’s version of it.

HiSoftware, a Cryptzone company, now offers Security Sheriff for Office 365, which extends the features and functions of its on-premises solution for inspecting, classifying, securing and auditing content to Office 365.

Data In Office 365

Cryptzone bought HiSoftware last September and said it would pull the two portfolio’s together, promising a complete suite of context-aware access control, data security and compliance solutions for mobile and cloud-centric enterprise IT. Security Sheriff for Office 365 seems to be one such product.

It enables enterprises to secure content in Office 365, SharePoint Online, OneDrive and hybrid environments, the deployment method of choice for many enterprises. It's release is a direct response to the growth of Office 365 along with the amount of content that enterprises are placing and storing in both Office 365 and OneDrive.

Microsoft, as part of its recent transparency drive around its products, claims Office 365 is growing by more than 100 percent per year.

The SharePoint capabilities of Office 365 make it simple to create content and share it with a global audience. Documents can be authored and published directly from the browser, edited on almost any PC, smartphone or tablet and shared to anyone with an email address.

But Not So Fast

Naturally, this means that the amount of content that can be sent beyond the firewalls is also going to grow. While secure collaboration is generally a good thing, collaboration without effective security will raise the threat to organizations proportional to the amount of content that is kept there.

According to figures from a Cryptzone survey of participants in a webinar, 81 percent of respondents said user mistakes have been the leading source of data breaches. While a webinar survey is not exactly scientific, it does reflect anecdotal evidence that suggests a large number of data breaches are internally generated.

Security Sheriff, with its ability to understand context, can reportedly detect sensitive data and protect it to make sure it never leaves the enterprise without authorization. The company claims it can also classify and encrypt data against pre-defined policies and applies business rules to control how authorized users can consume and distribute content.

Additionally, since encryption permissions are applied at the individual file level, sensitive content can be stored, shared and collaborated on from any site or library in Office 365.

Microsoft is slowly starting to put more effort into security in Office 365, like last year’s introduction of multi-factor authentication for Office 365, which included security enhancements for those using Yammer in SharePoint. However, Microsoft has traditionally relied on 3rd party vendors to improve its portfolio. This is one such case, and with the growing amount of content enterprises are placing in Office 365, a potentially timely one.